Move over Jose Mourinho, is this Europe's youngest manager?

Niall McGuinness
Niall McGuinness was born after the advent of the Welsh Premier League

Jose Mourinho is his managerial inspiration but in comparison to Niall McGuinness, the Special One was a late starter.

The Welsh Premier League's newest boss took charge of his first game on weekend aged just 24.

Ever since a 37-year-old Mourinho took charge Benfica in 2000, football managers have been getting younger.

Eddie Howe was 31 when he was first appointed by Bournemouth in 2008, while MK Dons handed the reins to a 29-year-old Karl Robinson back in 2010.

McGuinness was born in the same month as Starbucks opened its first coffee shop (other coffee shops are available) and now he is the toast of a town once famous for its iconic Suncentre.

"I'm a huge Manchester United fan so obviously Sir Alex Ferguson is someone I respect massively," said the new Rhyl manager.

"But for a young manager like me, Jose Mourinho is obviously my greatest inspiration as he took the same path I am currently on.

Niall McGuinness
Date of Birth: 14th May 1991
Previous coaching roles: Rhyl Academy, North Wales under-14
Playing career: Derwen Rovers, Chester City, Wrexham, Prestatyn, Denbigh, Rhyl
Managerial inspiration: Jose Mourinho
Playing hero: Thierry Henry & Paul Scholes
Favourite team: Manchester United

"He didn't play professionally and concentrated on coaching from an early age and what he has gone on to achieve - Champions League and league titles at massive clubs like Chelsea, Real Madrid and Inter Milan - is incredible."

Rhyl's home-town manager will surely never have to buy another brew again should he guide the town's football team clear from relegation.

The Seasiders are second bottom of the Welsh Premier with just three wins from 25 games this season - and have not won since October.

McGuinness has been promoted from academy coach - and to help him, the man who is thought to be the youngest manager in any European national league had only one man in mind to be his assistant, dad Laurie.

"It's a pleasure to work with him," McGuinness jr says.

"It's a big thing in football to trust and respect and we've got that and he's got the experience, knowledge and passion.

"We'll bounce off each other and we'll give ideas to one another. It means a lot to us and there's no one that will try any harder than us two and the team."

Media playback is not supported on this device

Rhyl's 24-year-old boss relishing challenge

McGuinness' father was in the coaching team in Rhyl's treble-winning season of 2003-04 when they won the league, Welsh Cup and League Cup.

McGuinness himsef was at Wrexham's academy before joining home-town club Rhyl. He has been involved in Rhyl's youth set-up for six years and retired at 22 to concentrate on coaching after becoming academy boss.

"It was a big decision but I thought my future lay with coaching ," he said.

"I'd begun coaching at 19 so managing was always in the pipeline for me but I hadn't planned for it to happen this early.

"Has it come a little bit early? Yes, but I grabbed the opportunity and I'll thrive off the opportunity I've been given.

"With me being a Rhyl lad, this job is close to my heart."

McGuinness recently passed his Football Association of Wales Youth A licence qualification and he will need all of the help he can get with Rhyl seven points from safety with seven games remaining.

Rhyl drew his first game in charge, albeit against Haverfordwest, the only team lower than Rhyl in the Welsh Premier table.

Top Stories