"Never is a long time" - Jim McGuinness on the possibility of a return to Donegal 7 years ago

"Never is a long time" - Jim McGuinness on the possibility of a return to Donegal

Jim McGuinness clearly misses the buzz of management.

The man who led Donegal to All-Ireland glory in 2012 (and came within a ropy kick-out of repeating the trick in his last match in charge in 2014) talks as if he yearns to be patrolling the sideline in Ballybofey when Donegal host Fermanagh on June 12th.


His former assistant Rory Gallagher is now the man in the bainisteoir bib but, listening to McGuinness discuss the summer's football action, you get the impression he wouldn't mind another spin on the Gaelic football management merry-go-round himself.

Ulster Minor Football Championship Quarter-Final 26/5/2013 Donegal Assistant manager Rory Gallagher and manager Jim McGuinness Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

He is currently employed as a coach at Celtic and has just earned his UEFA B licence, but at the recent Sky Sports Championship launch, he spoke as if he was more interested in winning Sam Maguire than the Champions League.

When asked by SportsJOE would he consider managing a team other than Donegal, McGuinness suggested a return to his native county was his most likely route back to the GAA.


"I think 'never' is a long time. Obviously I love my own county and if I was to manage anyone it probably would be Donegal," he said.

"I think there is probably a higher possibility of managing my young fellas, at underage, than a county team. In the short term anyway. But I would never say never."

REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** Launch of Sky Sports 2016 GAA Season, Dublin 20/5/2015 Pictured at the launch of Sky Sports 2016 GAA season is Jim McGuinness. Sky Sports' GAA coverage gets off to its best ever start this summer with current All-Ireland Football champions Dublin beginning their defense against Laois from Nowlan Park on Saturday, June 4th. Sky Sports will show 20 live GAA fixtures this season, including 14 exclusive games, featuring expert analysis from Jim McGuinness, Peter Canavan, JJ Delaney and Jamesie O'Connor. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

McGuinness will return to the Sky Sports studio this weekend as the All-Ireland champions get their first outing of the summer in the unusual surroundings of Kilkenny's Nowlan Park.

Analysing the likes of Dublin versus Laois as a pundit is the closest McGuinness can get to the thrill of management these days.


"It fills a void for me, you're still part of a Championship Sunday. You're there early and you're preparing to study both teams, with a view to what is going to unfold.

"You talk about it afterwards, so you're part of the process. So it fills a void. If I was just at home, if I was just Donegal manager one day and then watching games at home the next, it could be a wee bit of a lonely place."

Spoken like a man with an eye on an eventual return to the intercounty scene.

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