Social media went into overdrive, with the story going viral in a matter of minutes.
There can be no doubt of the influence that Jim has had on Donegal football.
He has taken the role of the manager in GAA to a new level.
His tactics have been broken down and analysed and many have tried to imitate his ‘system’ ever since they brought Donegal to the All-Ireland Final in 2012.
Jim Mc Guinness has nothing to prove.
He set out a 4 year plan when he took over the managerial position in 2010 and he had achieved his objectives within 2 years.
In his 4 years as manager of Donegal, he has taken the team to: 1 x national league title in 2013, 3 x Ulster Football championship titles in 2011, 2012 and 2014 and 1 x All Ireland Senior Football Championship title in 2012…
Not bad for a man the Donegal County Board turned down for the job on numerous occasions.
On one of these occasions, he intended to deliver a PowerPoint presentation during his interview. No one anticipated that a plug socket might have been needed during the interview process. The County Board quite literally weren’t ready for Mc Guinness’s level of professionalism.
During this time Jim was approached by other counties offering him managerial positions, but he held firm and was determined to get the Donegal managerial role.
Jim himself said in an interview the week before they won the 2012 All Ireland Final that when he applied for the job in 2010; “I was the only candidate and I struggled to get it”.
Fortunately someone finally saw sense and Jim was appointed to the role.
When you look back at the Donegal team that Jim inherited when he took over the role you can start to see the volume of work that he achieved over the last 4 years. Donegal hadn’t won anything in the championship in 19 years and his more experienced players hadn’t won so much as a match in the Ulster championship in four years.
Donegal, in the four years since Jim’s appointment, have won 20 of their 24 championship matches. Jim has overseen victories over some of our toughest opponents – Dublin, Kerry, Mayo, Cork, Armagh, Tyrone, Monaghan, Derry and Down.
He never missed key training sessions, despite also holding down a full time position with Glasgow Celtic FC.
Jim’s commitment, drive and focus to the role was on a level that has never been seen before in Donegal GAA.
He is leaving behind a legacy that will be extremely tough to follow for whoever decides to apply for the managerial position.
It is not just his victories that they will have to emulate.
Jim has captured the hearts of the people of Donegal; posters were painted, songs were written and statues were erected.
He has become an icon not only in the GAA circles, but in every household around the county and over the country.
An evaluation of Jim’s career as manager of Donegal GAA is simple.
Has he been successful in his role during his tenure?
Has he left the team and football in Donegal in a better state than when he took over in 2010?
Jim has seen football restored in Donegal and has left plenty of smiles in his wake.
But, as he said himself that was what it was always about for him.
“I’m very aware and have always been very aware of what football means to the people of Donegal, I’ve said it all along, seeing smiles on people’s faces makes everything worthwhile.”
And smile we did.
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