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Jim McGuinness glory in Louth | intensity made Galway drills break down

Shane Stapleton and Steven Poacher look at Galway bringing Jim McGuinness on board for training, and his role with Naomh Mairtin

Shane Stapleton and Steven Poacher look at Padraic Joyce and Galway bringing Jim McGuinness on board for training.

Jim McGuinness was a key part of Naomh Mairtin winning their maiden Louth SFC county title this year.

The former Donegal manager came in as part of Fergal Reel’s backroom side for the ‘Jocks’ during the knockout stages of the club championship in the Wee County.

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Having been beaten in the last two finals by Newtown Blues, Naomh Mairtin were keen to get over the line with their up-and-coming team this season.

McGuinness was involved for the last six weeks of the season, in terms of pitch sessions, analysis, and even conversing with management from home as he watched live streams of their championship games.

The key to his drills and training were speed and simplicity, as seen in the recent video of his session with the Galway footballers, and it helped Naomh Mairtin to a 1-13 to 1-9 final win over St Mary’s Ardee.

Steven Poacher, the former Carlow and current Down minor coach, spoke of his appreciation of McGuinness and what he might bring to Galway.

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“Jim’s reputation as a GAA coach is obviously intact because of what he did with Donegal,” says Poacher.

“People were probably looking in from the outside and associating Jim with a certain style of football, which I think is wrong.

“What I picked up from the drill… everyone was talking about the simplicity of the drill, but if you read Jim’s book and look back on his Donegal team of 2011 to 2014, they did rack up big scores and play decent football at times.

“From a coaching eye, I can clearly see the intensity he is demanding in the drill.

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“The reason the ball spilled a couple of times is that those boys were probably operating above what is match pace, if that makes sense.

“You’re probably never going to be at that pace in a game because of circumstances and the shape it takes.

“But he demands that high level and the abiding thing for me is what he demanded from those players.

“He likes to take players out of their comfort zones and really stretch the boundaries with them,” Poacher adds.

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“It’s a fantastic mentality to have, and you wonder yourself if Padraic Joyce or whoever ran that drill, would it have the same impact and intensity?

“Because McGuinness is coming in, he’s a fresh face , and he commands huge respect in the game.

“I really enjoyed listening to him on Sky Sports and his analysis was top class.”

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