update Celtic coach poised for Ryder Cup role
It could be Team Europe's very own version of Celtic connections. Having been handed the Ryder Cup captaincy role for Gleneagles in 2014, Paul McGinley is already mapping out a battle plan and part of his assault force is set to be a fellow Irishman who knows a thing or two about sporting mind games.
Meticulous and methodical in his approach, McGinley will leave no stone unturned in his preparations for the transatlantic tussle and one key weapon in the 46-year-old's armoury could be Jim McGuinness, pictured, who is now a part-time performance consultant at Clydesdale Bank Premier League champions Celtic, the club McGinley supports.
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McGuiness, the current manager of Ireland's Gaelic football champions Donegal, is a qualified sports scientist, specialising in psychology. It was McGinley who recommended him to Dermot Desmond, Celtic's majority shareholder, last year and not long after, McGuinness was offered a position in Neil Lennon's backroom set-up.
Now, McGinley himself is eager to utilise his countryman's expertise and the 40-year-old has expressed a similar enthusiasm for lending a helping hand to the European cause.
"Like myself, Paul likes a lot of details in his preparation," said McGuinness on Donegal-based Highland Radio. "I've spoken to him since his announcement and we have been texting. If there's anything at all I can do, I'd be more than delighted to help him. To be associated with it [the Ryder Cup] or to be working with that calibre of an athlete would be a great experience in itself. Golf is very much an individual sport but the Ryder Cup is a team sport and the dynamics with man-management and communicating with players and how you go about motivating players is very important in a team environment.
"Paul was keen to find out what we at Donegal are doing and how I operate, with bits and pieces of psychology that might be helpful to him to move the thing forward. We will talk in the coming months and if there's anything over and above that, I would be glad to help him out."