FORMER Rhyl manager Niall McGuinness is finding redemption during what has been a memorable campaign to date.

The talented young boss has masterminded a stunning turnaround at Flint Town United, steering them from Huws Gray Alliance strugglers to title chasers in the space of just 15 months at the helm.

This is a stark contrast to the fortunes McGuinness endured at his hometown club, where he found things difficult in both the JD Welsh Premier League and the second tier before he and the Lilywhites parted ways.

Whether that opportunity arrived too soon for him is another question entirely, but it shows the measure of the man that McGuinness has put that difficult experience to good use at Cae y Castell, taking what he has learned to another big club that can easily match his ambitions.

There are no doubting McGuinness’ coaching credentials – qualifications he has worked incredibly hard to achieve – but what has improved considerably is his ability to react to in-game situations in order to achieve his overall goals.

He has been very shrewd in the transfer market during his time at the Silkmen, acquiring the right mix of experienced figures and talented youngsters on loan from some high-profile clubs across the region.

This strategy has brought outstanding progress from his side, who remain seven points behind long-time leaders Airbus Broughton in second place with seven games remaining.

They have won 14 of their 23 league games and have played with a quality mix of steely determination and expansive play with the ball that has almost become a trademark of McGuinness’ early foray into management, and this is especially evident with the form display by the gifted Mark Cadwallader.

McGuinness has trusted the creative forward to lead from the front this term, and this extra responsibility is something that he has thrived on and is reflected with 13 league goals to date.

Midfielder Brandon Burrows is another that has come on leaps and bounds under McGuinness and he has the talent to take over a game if he is on form, something he has done plenty of times to great effect for a United side that do their best work through the middle of the park.

The young manager has relied on his coaching staff for guidance and support, especially the experience and knowledge of Aden Shannon, who ensured the transition period was a smooth one and played a huge contributing factor in their instant success under relatively new management.

Whether or not they can get any closer to the Wingmakers' is somewhat irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. There would be few that deny Airbus are deserving of promotion given how dominant they have been this season, especially during the early stages, but regardless of the outcome one thing is for certain is that McGuinness has found a new lease of life at Flint and can be enormously proud of his efforts with the club so far.

There is no doubt that this is a club heading in the right direction, and the appointment of a motivated McGuinness has already proven to be a masterstroke.