Jim McGuinness strikes familiar tones at Charlotte Independence unveiling


Jim McGuinness spoke of ‘excitement’ as he was officially unveiled as the new head coach at Charlotte Independence FC this afternoon.

McGuinness was announced at the end of the week on a three-year term and was today presented to the American media at a press conference at the club’s headquarters in North Carolina.

Picture: Jim McGuinness with Mike Jeffries and Jim McPhilliamy of Charlotte Independence. 

McGuinness has now completed his transition from Gaelic football manager to professional soccer boss, having served an apprenticeship of sorts at Celtic and Beijing Sinobo Guoan.

“It’s great to be here. I’m really excited to be here,” McGuinness told his first news conference in America.

“We want an exciting team. We want the Charlotte brand to be an exciting brand. We want to create a team and a group of athletes who can impose themselves in games.

“We want the right people to come in the door; people who will add value to the organisation. We want people who can do it and who want to do it.”

The 46-year-old, who led Donegal to All-Ireland glory in 2012, has spoken about a ‘blueprint’ he has been devising. And now he gets a chance as the new head coach at Charlotte, who play in the USL, the second tier of the America soccer pyramid.

The Glenties man struck familiar tones when he spoke of wanting to ‘look into the eyes’ of his new players ‘to see where they’re at’.

He said: “Everything will be done to bring in really good players with a really good attitude to instil a really exciting brand of football.

“I like to push people very aggressively on the training field and hopefully the training field is an extension to the playing field.

“Hopefully exciting things lay ahead. It’s not just about the short-term. We’re very focussed on the medium and long terms.”

McGuinness’ move to Charlotte came about after a meeting with Meath native Padraig Smith, the General Manager of the Colarado Rapids, initiated contact to his new club.

McGuinness was joined at the top table by Charlotte Independence President Jim McPhilliamy and Mike Jeffries, who is moving from head coach to the role of General Manager.

Jeffries said of the recruitment of McGuinness:  “We’re looking forward to working with Jim. He brings a wealth of experience from a different background.

“Having Jim here is an exciting opportunity and he brings a different flavour. He brings a new experience.”

Sports writer from St Johnston, now based in Letterkenny, with ten years' experience covering sport in Donegal. Was a nominee for NUJ Sports Journalist of the Year in 2010. Honoured by the Donegal Boxing Board in 2016 for his coverage on the sport.

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