Kevin McGoldrick talks about his time in China as a Manchester City coach

Davie Irons and Kevin McGoldrick (centre)
Davie Irons and Kevin McGoldrick (centre)

Former Kilsyth Rangers boss Kevin McGoldrick says coaching in China with Manchester City was an eye-opener and a great experience, but it didn’t make sense financially.

McGoldrick spent ten months coaching and developing youth football in the city of Taiyuan as a lead coach with the Premier League side back in 2016.

Three years later, and enjoying a second spell at Stenhousemuir as an assistant to Davie Irons, he told the Cumbernauld News: “I knew it wouldn’t have lasted a life time as the family was still back in Scotland. I would have liked to have been out longer, but it didn’t make sense financially.

“I loved it and it boosted me, the whole experience was an eye-opener though. It was a very different culture, both in life and in football.

“They have got the right idea in terms of developing players. It’s massive, every single school has a basketball court and they are trying to get football to take off. The country has a population of 1.6 billion – they should be the best at everything. Eventually they will not be far away.”

He conceded it had its challenges but it was a great experience and had made him a better coach.

He said: “I was coaching the children every day between 5 and 7pm. There were four other coaches I was responsible for. A huge part of it was an introduction to football for these kids.

“My coach felt it was a competition. I’m a A-licence professional coach and I wasn’t competing against other coaches, that wasn’t what I was there to do. They didn’t want to accept my help.”

McGoldrick returned to Scotland in February 2017 to be number two at East Fife to Barry Smith. He then joined Kilsyth Rangers in 2018 before Gary Kelly took over after he left in September.

McGoldrick said: “Kilsyth came in and they were just above the relegation zone. I wanted to get Kilsyth into the top division. We had a brand new team and I felt they were good enough to get up, they just fell short and finished fourth. They are right in the mix and I feel I’ve left them in a good place.”