BY CHRIS MCNULTY
JIM McGuinness’s first week of work at Celtic Football Club has seen the Donegal manager already pick up a few nuggets of information.
The Glenties man began work at Celtic’s Lennoxtown complex last week having been appointed as a Performance Consultant with the Glasgow giants. Last week, McGuinness accompanied the first-team manager Neil Lennon to training; something that he believes was a real learning experience.
McGuinness attended a fundraising night in Dublin’s Harcourt Hotel on Friday night, the proceeds of which go to the Donegal Team Training fund, while he was a guest on The Saturday Night Show on RTE the following night.
“It has been fantastic in terms of my own learning in looking at their sports science stuff and how they do all of that,” he said of his opening days in Glasgow.
“It’s been very interesting too watching how they monitor their players in terms of rest, recovery, sessions and it has been very interesting.
“I’ve been watching their training too and watching the coaches and how they coach.
“Neil Lennon takes most of the coaching, which did surprise me as a lot of the time the number 1 doesn’t do a lot of coaching. He is a very good coach. It has been very good for my own development to sit back and watch all of that unfold.
“This week was about settling in, about getting to meet the people and know the surroundings. I met a few players and started the ball rolling.”
McGuinness has likened his work with young players at Celtic to what he has achieved with Donegal in his two years at the Tir Chonaill helm.
He said: “That is my background, sports science and psychology.
“A bit like the Donegal project, it’s about trying to tick as many boxes as possible.
“The players I will be working with aren’t the finished articles, but it’s about trying to get them up to a level. If there are other areas in their life that they’re trying to work on, I’ll try to help guide them on that road as well.
“With Donegal, too, the finished product takes an awful lot of work to get players up to the level of being an All-Ireland winner.”
Already McGuinness has begun preparing Donegal for 2013 and has confirmed that he has brought in Mark McGowan (St Eunan’s) and Ryan McHugh (Kilcar) into his panel, as revealed by Donegal News columnist Declan Bonner in Friday’s newspaper.