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Jim McGuinness could be part of the Down coaching ticket

Jim McGuinness could be part of the Down coaching ticket

Jim McGuinness could be part of the Down coaching ticket

Jim McGuinness could be set for a shock return to inter-county management as part of the new Down senior football backroom team under Conor Lavery.

McGuinness famously led his native Donegal to the promised land in 2012 with just the second All-Ireland SFC title in their history and he could be set to switch his attention from soccer back to Gaelic football once again.

The Irish News reports that negotiations are close to a conclusion with Laverty set to replace Paddy Tally as Down boss having led the Mourne U-20 side to Ulster success earlier this year.

Laverty had already been ratified as U-20 boss for 2022 but that looks set to change with the Kilcoo clubman, who won another Down SFC title on the pitch last weekend, expected to take the senior reins.

Former Down star Marty Clarke is also rumoured to be part of Laverty's Down ticket having worked alongside him with the U-20s, but it is a possible inter-county return for McGuinness that really has tongues wagging.

McGuinness turned around Donegal's ailing fortunes to claim Sam Maguire nine years ago before stepping aside in the wake of their 2014 All-Ireland final defeat to Kerry – having handed Jim Gavin the only championship defeat of his all-conquering reign as Dublin football boss in the semi-final.

GAA folk have followed his adventures as a soccer coach closely since he departed to concentrate on his work with Celtic while he is currently involved as coach with Derry City’s U-19 squad.

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