INTERVIEW: Packie Bonner on Donegal days, Celtic life, modern goalkeeping...and Jim McGuinness

Ireland and Celtic legend chats to Newstalk's Team 33

Raf Diallo, Packie Bonner

Raf Diallo and Packie Bonner

At the time that Packie Bonner was growing up in Donegal, the connection to Celtic Football Club was particularly strong in the county.

This week on Newstalk's Team 33, the hero of Euro 88 and Italia 90 joined us ahead of Celtic: The Musical which will run at the Gaiety Theatre from September 20th to 24th.

We touched on plenty of topics from his own beginnings in Donegal soccer with Keadue Rovers as a budding Celtic fan, all the way to how a penalty shootout against Aberdeen weeks before the Italia 90 shootout against Romania had a benefit.

You can listen to the full interview on the podcast player and stream for free on iTunes:

He also discussed his role as a technical observer for UEFA at Euro 2016, the Pep Guardiola-Joe Hart situation vis a vis the way football has changed for goalkeepers when it comes to the emphasis on kicking, as well as what Jock Stein was like, and coming across current Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers while at Reading many moons ago.

But one things we also did discuss is Donegal's former All-Ireland-winning coach-turned Celtic staff member Jim McGuinness.

"I went to watch the [Donegal] games. I remember them playing here the first year against Dublin and there were maybe almost 13 of the players parked within a 30-yard radius of his goal and they weren't getting up the pitch. But he adapted and he changed very quickly and brought in a new way of playing and then was able to combine the defensive and offensive side very, very well," said Bonner, who also felt McGuinness' management was just how impressive his man-management was in terms of getting into the players' minds. 

"What I was really interested in was how he was going to bring it into the professional game of soccer. One thing is when you're the manager, people listen. So now he has to have other skills of trying to get inside their brains in a different way. He worked last year with the senior team, now he's working more with the under-21 team and the emerging talent group who he went over in the first place to work with. If he can affect those guys in goal-setting and all of the things that you have to do...it's a brilliant project to analyse." 

Bonner was speaking to Newstalk's Team 33 as part of Celtic: The Musical which will run at the Gaiety Theatre from September 20-24th. It tells the story of the club, including its strong ties to Ireland from its early inception to the modern era. Click here for ticket details.

The full Newstalk interview will be broadcast on Tuesday with stories from his career with Celtic, goalkeeping, Joe Hart-Pep Guardiola, Jim McGuinness and much, much more.