There’s speculation that Donegal manager Jim McGuinness may try and combine the role with his new consultant’s job at Celtic, rumoured to carry a salary of around 150,000 euro.
GAA fans in Donegal - and tens of thousands followed them to their All-Ireland victory in Croke Park a few weeks ago - are reacting to the news from Celtic this morning, confirming increasing speculation in recent days.
The Glenties man will work with youth players at the Celtic academy as a performance consultant.
It’s understood he spoke to the Donegal County Board on Tuesday night about maintaining the Donegal job while working with Celtic, a club with strong Donegal links.
He was at Parkhead for the historic 2-1 win for Celtic over Barcelona on Wednesday night. Celtic confirmed his new appointment earlier today. He begins the job at the end of this month.
RTE are reporting that it’s thought he will be at Lennoxtown for Celtic three days a week - Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday - with his assistant Rory Gallagher coaching Donegal when McGuinness is in Scotland.
The deputy editor of the Donegal Democrat, Ciaran O’Donnell, said this morning that the news of the Celtic appointment was just sinking in.
“Obviously people in the county will be wish him the very best in what’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at a club which has great support in Donegal. But no-one wants to lose a manager who’s already achieved such great things with the county team, with ambitions to build on that fantastic All-Ireland win and two Ulster titles in a row.
“It’s a honour for Jim and a sign of his standing in sport generally that he’s got this offer for Celtic. The challenge will be to manage the demands of two major roles, and other commitments. But Jim has already shown he can handle big challenges in what he’s achieved so far.”
McGuinness has an MSc in sport psychology from John Moore’s University, Liverpool, as well as an honours degree in sport, exercise and leisure from UUJ. In addition to those qualifications he holds a higher cert in health and leisure studies from Tralee IT.
He has spoken of his desire to work in other sports, and with other teams, and he has already worked with soccer clubs Finns Harps, Derry City and Limavady United.
Last month he said: “My background is in sports science and in psychology, which are transferable across all sports.
“If a professional football team, or any professional sporting organisation came in and said they were interested in talking about work, it is obviously something that I’d have to consider.
“I’m a young man with a young family and three kids so it’s something that I’d have to consider.
“It wouldn’t scare me. If something came up, I would have to discuss it with my wife, but Donegal is where I’m from and Donegal is my love and passion.
“It would have to be something that I would have to look at very seriously if there was going to be anything.”