McGuinness focusing on soccer...


McGuinness focusing on soccer as he scotches Down rumours

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Jim McGuinness says he's been in demand for a return to gaelic football, but will not be taking a position with the Down senior footballers.

The 2012 All Ireland-winning manager with Donegal had been linked with a position on Conor Laverty's proposed coaching ticket.

McGuinness has largely kept gaelic football at arm's length after stepping away from the Donegal job in 2014.

Since then he's pursued a coaching career in soccer, one which has already taken him to far-flung outposts as Beijing, Charlotte and Glasgow.

Just last month, he led Derry City's U19 side to Enda McGuill Cup success with a penalty shootout win over Bohemians.

"Over the course of the winter months a number of county teams have been in contact with me with a view to manager’s jobs and coaching roles," McGuinness told the Irish Times on Wednesday.

"I spoke with all of them because I do love coaching and out of respect, really. You are going to listen to what someone has to say.

"And I told them all the same story - that I am very much focused on soccer at the moment and waiting to see what might happen or not happen at the end of the season.”

Laverty still looks set to take on the Down job, taking the step up from the U20 position. This year he led the county to a first Ulster U20 title since 2009.

McGuinness had been a mooted member of his backroom team as he transitions to the senior set-up. 2010 All Star Marty Clarke has worked as Laverty's no.2 with the Down U20s, and would follow him into the senior coaching staff.

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Conor Laverty Derry City Down Jim McGuinness

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