Jim McGuinness’s remarkable crossover from All-Ireland winning manager to Celtic U20s coach has taken a new twist as the ex-Donegal boss relocates to the Chinese Super League.
McGuinness will become assistant coach to former Bayer Leverkusen manager Roger Schmidt at Beijing Sinobo Guoan, having signed a two-and-a-half year contract.
McGuinness, who was initially hired by Celtic in 2012 as a performance consultant, met Schmidt several times at Leverkusen, since he was first invited over by a club psychologist two years ago.
“It is kind of surreal,” McGuinness told the Irish Times. “But it does feel like part of that original journey with Donegal because anything that has happened was borne out of that energy that started with the U21s.
“I am incredibly thankful for that. In fact, one of the reasons that this was an easy decision for me is that Beijing wear green and gold and the number 1992 is on their club crest. So some stars have to be aligning there.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity. It’s a level up for me and a great honour to be asked. Roger is a really prestigious European coach and just to be part of his management team is a great privilege. I also feel that it’s great timing in terms of taking the next step forward in my own coaching career.”
2009 champions Beijing Sinobo Guoan are seventh in the Chinese Super League approaching the halfway point of the season. McGuinness will travel to Beijing today ahead of a Monday start.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved