When manager Steve Evans announced his reatined list, it was a major disapointment to see tenacious midfidler Jamie McGuire’s name on the list of those released – however today, the popular former Fleetwood Town man has accepted a role within the academy set-up as a coach, for me the best news of the close season so far.
McGuire has taken mantle of Mr Mansfield Town from Adam Murray and just listening to his interview on the clubs website just rehighlights his passion and commitment to the club, and at a time where the academy set-up continues to grow – having that passion and commitment can only help in creating passionate and committed local players,.
It was Paul Cox who brought McGuire to the club from Fleetwoord, having been a key part of Fleetwood’s rise and stabilsation into the league – something at the time we needed having just been promoted from the conference.
McGuire was known for his hot-headed nature and its fair to say at first, wound a lot of players up for over-the-top challenges, silly bookings and suspensions. However through it all was passion, the mentality of someone who wanted to succseed and battle – whatever the curcumstance. You know, the type of player who runs through brick walls, walks on broken glass, baths in fire.
They were the qualities for which Adam Murray was known, only Murray had that extra passion for the club having been there numerous years – but playing alongside Murray, McGuire soon inheritted that passion and lets be honest, when Murray became manager and hung up his boots – there was no need for the “Oh we miss an Adam Murray figure in the middle” because over time, we developed Jamie McGuire.
McGuire skippered the side often under Murray and took other players under his wing like a leader, and given that responsbility and perhaps extra passion for the club as time progressed – McGuire’s rash and sometimes liability nature was gone, but the same passionate and committed player remained.
When McGuire wasn’t picked in the starting line-up by Cox, Murray or Evans – you could still hear him from the side-lines, he’d kick every ball, make every challenge and live the game – If you ever need an example of this, watch the video from when Yoann Arquin scored the fourth against Accrington earlier this season. It’s the 89th minute, it’s 4-4 – Arquin darts off to celebrate, Magga pegs it down the touch line, drags players back out to the middle “never say die”.
Further examples, and frankly prime Saturday afternoon viewing, is from pre-season when the 33 year old donned the go-pro camera for a series of training vlogs, 100% effort all the time, 100% vocal encouragement to all players. One word – leader.
Speaking of his role within the Academy set-up, McGuire told the club “As soon as I walked in here [The One Call Stadium] four years ago, everyone’s been brilliant with me – I’ve got on with everyone, met some great friends all over the town.”
“Mansfield is me now, I’m Mansfield trough and trough – that’s what I am, so I’ll give my heart and soul to the club as a player like I did and as an academy coach”
McGuire also heaped praise on Evans for making the coaching deal happen, and I think it’s fair to say that Evans would be a slightly unpopular man with many a Stags supporter had McGuire just been completed let go – to many, the club is family – and Jamie McGuire has certainly become part of the furniture.
I think he, like John Dempster, will become an excellent manager one day – hopefully that will be at Mansfield Town.
Jamie McGuire, thanks for the memories and good luck with the coaching career – let’s hope many a player from the McGuire school of coaching, ends up with passion like this
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