By John Fogarty
Jim McGuinness has left his role as assistant coach at Chinese club Beijing Sinobo Guoan for “personal, family reasons”.
Donegal’s 2013 All-Ireland winning manager joined the outfit last June on a two-and-a-half year contract from Celtic last year where he had been working as an under-age coach and first team sports performance coach.
McGuinness linked up with former Bayer Leverkusen and Red Bull Salzburg coach Roger Schmidt in Beijing, but in a statement yesterday he confirmed his departure.
His statement said: “I would like to thank the owner of the club Mr Joe, the GM Mr IJ Ming and everyone associated with the club.
“The respect and hospitality that I have received since I arrived in Beijing has been fantastic. Every day working at the club has been thoroughly enjoyable.
“I would also like to thank Roger for giving me the opportunity to be part of his management team. It has been an amazing experience working under a top European coach and I have learned so much from him. I feel my experience in Beijing has set me up for the next stage of my coaching development and I look forward to a new chapter in Europe.
“I wish Roger, my colleagues in the coaching staff and everyone at Beijng Sinobo Guoan the very best for the 2018 season.”
Speaking last September, the 45-year-old had hoped to move his family, his wife Yvonne and their six children, to the Chinese capital, but yesterday’s statement confirmed the end of his time there.
McGuinness revealed he had been on his own in Celtic for four years before his family joined him.