Former Donegal manager Jim McGuinness has spoken about his move to China and has outlined his plans to move his family to Asia.
After working with Celtic following Donegal’s incredible All-Ireland win, Jim McGuinness made the move to China in July, working as an assistant to head coach Roger Schmidt at Beijing Sinobo Guoan FC.
In an interview with RTÉ Radio 1, he told Brendan O’Connor that Beijing is a big change from his native Glenties.
“The vastness of it is incredible. It’s difficult to get your head around.
“It’s a very exciting project. Culturally it’s a big shift but in terms of the football side of things, it’s been fantastic.
“You come from a very small town in Donegal and you think that is the epicentre of the world. You end up in a country where there’s 1.4 billion people and you’re in a train looking at a city that’s built but there’s no one living in it. You think, ‘how does that work?’
“It is a different world. There’s bicycles, mopeds, car going everywhere. Sometimes you’re standing at the lights waiting for it to go green thinking ‘this is absolutely crazy’. Culturally it’s hard to take it in sometimes.”
Jim plans for his wife Yvonne and six children will make the move to China at the beginning of the season.
“Hopefully in the coming months we’ll look to move everybody to China. When I left first of all to join Celtic, Toni Marie, my oldest girl, was only four coming five. Four years later she was a big girl, heading for nine and ten. It doesn’t be long happening.
“That was the reason we made the decision last year to move everybody across [to Glasgow] because time does go so quickly.”
Mc Guinness’ six children are aged ten, eight, seven, four (twins), and nine months.
“Rather than wait for two and half years to get reunited again I think we’ll look to find somewhere nice to stay and a good school and then maybe move everybody over at the beginning of the season.”
Jim says he’s settling in well in China, and says that Beijing Sinobo Guoan is one of the “most valuable” and “biggest” club in the country.
“It’s a very interesting in time in China at the moment. Every club can play three foreign players and they can have a maximum of four on the squad, so the foreign players become really important and they tend to be very high value players because there’s only so many you can have.
“The rest are made up of Chinese players There’s also a stipulation that you have to play one U23 player that is Chinese. The government, the country as a whole is unified in terms of trying to move the national team to a higher level.
“The foreign players are top, top players. That’s been fantastic for myself at a coaching to see that. I’m responsible for the set-plays, looking at what other teams do. Normally the foreign players take the set-plays or they are the target for the set-plays.
“It’s been a good education for me.”Tags: