Jim McGuinness explains why he was at a Galway training session

One week out from the resumption of intercounty action, rumours of Jim McGuinness training the Galway footballers blew up on social media.

Shortly afterwards, video evidence emerged of the Donegal native putting the Tribesmen through their paces.

So what exactly was his role? For the first time since his return from America, McGuinness has explained.

“It’s very funny,” he told Inside The Game.

“A good friend of mine who was in Donegal with us as a physio, was ringing me the whole time while I working in America, saying he was working with this team in Louth. And he was saying, ‘They’re not bad, they’re not far away. A wee bit might get them over the line’.

“And I was reading between the lines that he wanted me to maybe go up and take a session or two for them. So I said I would do one session. And I went up, I was impressed with them. And I spent probably six weeks working with them, and they eventually won the championship for the first time in their history.

“But it’s amazing to me that you can be working with a group that can understand that you’ve got to keep things under wraps or it’s going to impact on you. And we were able to do that, and win the championship and nobody knew that I was there!

“And yet I was standing on the pitch in Tuam with Pádraic Joyce, and literally the session had finished five minutes and there were reporters ringing from Dublin to try and get the heads-up on what was going on! But that’s the world we live in. That’s social media. And it doesn’t help when you’ve got somebody behind the goals filming it.

“But if you’re being put up there as having fellas up trees in Kerry and filming training sessions, you can’t be too hard on somebody behind the goals in Tuam.”

He moved to clarify he will not be part of the Connacht county’s set-up for the championship.

“To answer the question, I’m not involved with Galway,” he said. “I’m a good friend with Pádraic, we spent a couple of years together down in Tralee. He’s a really good fella, he’s a really good football guy.

“We’ve always stayed in contact. He asked me to come down and do a session. I was delighted to do that for him, and that really was it. If he wanted to do something again, I’ve been in and out with Donegal any chance I’ve had as well. So that’s all there was to it. I think it was just the fact that somebody had filmed it made it a bigger story than it was.”

Watch the full discussion on Inside The Game, our weekly GAA discussion show, at 9pm Wednesday on Sky Sports Mix.

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