Niall McGuinness is appointed new boss of Cymru Premier club Cefn Druids

Niall McGuinness. Picture: Sgorio, S4C

Former Rhyl and Flint Town United boss Niall McGuinness is the new manager of Cefn Druids.

He replaces Jayson Starkey, who had been interim manager since Bruno Lopes departed in March.

Cefn suffered a disastrous end to the 2020-21 season, losing their last nine phase two matches on the bounce, conceding 41 goals and ending up 16 points adrift at the basement.

However, with no relegation this term, the Ancients will remain in the top flight next season.

McGuinness has been entrusted with the task of reviving the team’s fortunes.

The 30-year-old arrives at The Rock on a two-year deal.

In a playing career featuring spells with Derwen Rovers, Chester City, Wrexham, Prestatyn, Denbigh and Rhyl FC, he retired at 22 to concentrate on coaching.

And the move paid off as two years later he was manager of his hometown club Rhyl FC in the Welsh Premier League at the age of 24.

Unfortunately the Lilywhites were relegated at the end of 2016-17 and in October of the following season McGuinness departed Belle Vue after a 3-2 Welsh Cup defeat at lower league Llandudno Albion

A month later McGuinness took charge at Cymru Alliance club Flint Town United.

In his first campaign at the helm, the Silkmen won the Cymru Alliance League Cup, beating Gresford Athletic 8-7 on penalties in the final.

The following two seasons saw Flint secure back-to-back runners-up spots in the Cymru Alliance, the latter clinching them a return to the Cymru Premier for the first time in 22 years, with champions Prestatyn Town denied promotion over a licensing issue.

McGuinness also guided the Silkmen to the Welsh Cup quarter-finals in 2019-20, knocking out Welsh Premier side Bala Town 2-0 at the Essity Stadium along the way.

Sadly, the Welsh Premier comeback did not go so well. With just three wins achieved in 14 league matches, Niall left Flint in December 2020 with the team lying next to bottom.

As holder of a UEFA Senior ‘A’ Coaching licence as well as a UEFA ‘A’ Youth Elite Licence, he is highly qualified to take up his next big challenge with Druids.

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