Jim McGuinness has refused to entertain any notion that he will be involved with the Down senior football team in 2022.
There had been widespread reports on Tuesday that he would be teaming up with Conor Laverty and Marty Clarke in what would have been a sensational return to the intercounty scene for the first time in seven years.
However, the 2012 All-Ireland winning manager put an end to those rumours when he spoke to The Irish Times on Wednesday.
“Over the course of the winter months a number of county teams have been in contact with me with a view to manager’s jobs and coaching roles,” McGuinness said.
“I spoke with all of them because I do love coaching and out of respect, really. You are going to listen to what someone has to say.
“And I told them all the same story – that I am very much focused on soccer at the moment and waiting to see what might happen or not happen at the end of the season.”
Since leaving his position as Donegal manager in 2014 following their All-Ireland final defeat to Kerry, McGuinness has been involved with soccer clubs including Celtic, Beijing Sinobo Guoan and Charlotte Independence respectively.
He also had major success with the Derry City U19s recently as they claimed the Enda McGuill Cup after a penalty shootout win against Dublin side Bohemians in the final.
“It was, thankfully, a very successful season for us and it was really enjoyable,” he said of his involvement with the Candystripes’ young guns.
“And I am concentrating on that right now. And that’s all there is to it, really. The only Gaelic football team I am coaching at the moment is the local U12s as I have two children involved.”
While there has been no confirmation to date, it looks inevitable that Laverty and Clarke will form a management team that Down supporters would welcome as they go in search of provincial and All-Ireland success in 2022.