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Donegal's 2012 All-Ireland winning manager Jim McGuinness has left his role as assistant coach at Chinese soccer club Beijing Sinobo Guoan for family reasons.
McGuinness quit his post as Celtic's Under-20 coach in June 2017 to sign a two-and-a-half year deal to become the new No 2 to former Bayer Leverkusen boss Roger Schmidt at Beijing Guoan.
But the 46-year-old hinted that he was looking for a new challenge "in Europe" after announcing his intention to leave the Chinese Super League club after just six months.
"I would like to thank the owner of the club Mr Joe, the GM Mr IJ Ming and everyone associated with the club," McGuinness' statement read.
"The respect and hospitality that I have received since I arrived in Beijing has been fantastic. Every day working at the club has been thoroughly enjoyable."
McGuinness and Schmidt built up a good relationship after the Irishman went to Leverkusen to study the club's coaching and physiotherapy methods in 2015, and continued to keep in touch by email and text before the German offered him the Beijing job last year.
"I would also like to thank Roger for giving me the opportunity to be part of his management team," McGuinness continued.
"It has been an amazing experience working under a top European coach and I have learned so much from him.
"I feel my experience in Beijing has set me up for the next stage of my coaching development and I look forward to a new chapter in Europe."
McGuinness joined Celtic as a psychology coach in November 2012, combining the role with his position as Donegal coach until his resignation as Tir Chonaill boss in October 2014.
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Photo: Inpho/Dan Sheridan
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