All-Ireland winner Jim McGuinness takes head coach role with US second-tier side Charlotte

ALL-IRELAND-WINNING manager with Donegal Jim McGuinness has taken another step away from GAA and further into association football after taking the head coach role with Charlotte Independence.

The North Carolina club play in the United Soccer League, the tier below Major League Soccer.

The Irish Times, with whom McGuinness writes a column on GAA, were the first to report this morning that the Donegal man had signed a three-year contract with the American club.

Since departing Gaelic Games, McGuinness has taken up coaching roles with Glasgow Celtic and then in the Chinese Super League as assistant to Roger Schmidt at Beijing Guoan.

McGuinness centre, with Ronny Delia, left, ahead of Celtic’s Champions League qualifier against Malmo in 2015.

Source: Jeff Holmes

McGuinness expressed his delight at the move in a press release that was subsequently issued.

“I am very excited about the prospect of taking up the head coach role at the Charlotte Independence and am both proud and grateful to the club for having put its faith in me. I knew from early on in our discussions that the club and I shared a vision for what we want to achieve and now it’s about everybody involved working hard to make that happen.

“I have learned a great deal already about the USL and firmly believe we can be really competitive in the USL Championship in 2019. It’s an exciting time for the game in the United States which is growing all the time and I believe the Charlotte Independence will have a major influence in the years to come.”

Charlotte Independence club president Jim McPhilliamy welcomed McGuinness to the club.

“Jim has a proven track record as both a coach who gets the best out of players and also as a winner. That is a very appealing combination and once we knew there was a possibility of bringing him to the Charlotte Independence we were very excited about the prospect and are delighted to have him on board.

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“With Jim as Head Coach and our experienced management team, we believe we are now ideally positioned to compete strongly in the USL Championship in 2019 and beyond.”

– Originally published at 09.08

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