|Nationality||Great Britain (UK)|
|Date Joined||01 Jun 1992|
|Years at Club||18|
Paul McGuinness is coach of United’s Under-18 team, a crucial stage in the development of young players at the club.
He has grown up with football, and United in particular. Paul’s dad, Wilf McGuinness, was a Busby Babe and won three FA Youth Cup winners’ medals in the 1950s. He later went on to manage the Reds.
It was the lesson learned from his dad’s United playing career that has shaped Paul’s professional path. Wilf suffered a career-ending injury at the age of 22. Knowing all too well the fragility of a playing career in football, Paul’s ambition was to go to university.
“I always had it in my mind, because my dad’s career had ended due to injury, that I wanted to do a P.E. course,” he says. “But I was also desperate to play for United because I loved playing football.”
McGuinness, a former youth and Reserve player with the Reds, stayed on at Sixth Form whilst playing for United’s A team. After finishing school, he was offered a professional contract and played in the Reserves, lining up alongside the likes of Norman Whiteside, Paul McGrath and Frank Stapleton.
Intent on safeguarding his future by gaining a degree, he attended Loughborough University to study P.E. Paul returned to Old Trafford briefly as a Reserve player when Sir Alex Ferguson had taken over as manager. “Sir Alex knew my background and urged me to get my coaching badges,” says Paul.
A brief spell at Chester City ended with Paul again returning to United to look after the welfare and accommodation of United’s youth players. Within a year, following the departure of Nobby Stiles, Paul became Director of United’s Centre of Excellence, where he remained for 12 years before taking over United’s Under-18s in summer 2005.
Having played, scouted, managed and coached with the Reds, McGuinness has fully immersed
himself in United’s youth philosophy.
“I’ve dealt with scouts at all levels, the landladies at our young players’ digs, I’m aware of how difficult it can be for the young lads being away from home, I’ve been involved with the education side, the coaching side…I’ve seen all aspects of United’s youth development, and that has really helped me in this role.”