Donegal’s 2012 All-Ireland winning manager Jim McGuinness links up with Galway for a training session in Tuam yesterday as shown in a video taken at St. Jarlath’s Park. It is understood that McGuinness was working with the Galway footballers as part of an informal agreement. But, manager Padraic Joyce has not ruled out using the experienced coach again.
At a press conference in Galway GAA’s training centre at Loughgeorge, Joyce commented on the inclusion of McGuinness at the session.
“We’ll have to wait for the feedback, the session only took place yesterday at 2 o’clock, it was over at 4. We need to do an analysis of the session and a feedback from the player and see what way it’s working.”
The video offers no major insight to what McGuinness was working on with the footballers. In fact, it merely shows the players executing a simple hand-passing drill. However, viewers were quick to criticise as there were several dropped balls in the 37-second clip. Contrastingly, it will be no surprise to see the use of this drill spike across the country in the next 12 months.
Joyce and McGuinness are old friends. In 1999, the pair were a part of IT Tralee’s Sigerson Cup winning team. Now, in a time when Galway are facing a relentless return to action following a seven-month break, Joyce seems keen to make use of McGuinness’ roots in Sports Psychology.
“The mental aspect in the game is huge nowadays. I just felt that looking round the county he’s in my eyes the best performance coach that’s in the country. He’s been there, he’s done it and he’s very relevant to GAA as you know. He’s won it as a manager himself. I just thought it was a perfect fit, it was a no-brainer for me.”
McGuinness boasts a seriously impressive CV that would be a great addition to any outfit. Specifically, he has added to his two All-Ireland medals (as player and as manager) with stints in the professional game. For example, a spell with Celtic was followed by jobs in China and the US where he put his UEFA A License to use. On the other hand, McGuinness has had no inter-county involvement since the 2014 All-Ireland final loss to Kerry.
Currently, Galway are top of Division 1. Therefore, two good results in their remaining games will see the westerners crowned champions. But, these remaining two games are two of the toughest they’ll have in the league. Firstly, rivals Mayo are the opposition. Secondly, five-in-a-row Championship winners Dublin will attempt to stop Joyce from guiding Galway to a first League title since 1981.
If McGuinness links up with Galway for the remainder of the year, he will provide the players with some valuable mental steel. In a year with a knock-out Championship and ongoing uncertainty over fixtures, this will be a valuable asset.
Jim McGuinness taking Galway training. What a brilliant addition if he’s involved- would be great to see him back pic.twitter.com/j5JLVTH3gS
— Thomas Niblock (@thomasniblock) October 11, 2020