THE dust has now settled on Niall McGuinness’ departure from Flint Town United, but it was a harsh lesson learned for the young boss.

Sometimes the footballing world can be a ruthless place, even on the domestic scene. It has evolved into a ‘what have you done for me lately’ business and unfortunately for McGuinness, he was afforded little time by the powers that be to turn things around after a difficult start to life in the JD Cymru Premier.

Show me a promoted team that doesn’t have difficulty adjusting to a higher standard of competition. Perhaps the recent and instant success of Caernarfon Town, Llandudno, and Cardiff Met in the top-flight put expectations higher than could be reached from United’s perspective, and considering the changes McGuinness made to the squad during the summer, it was always going to take some time to gel.

However, time is not something associated with the life of a football manager.

It’s easy to forget where Flint were languishing before McGuinness took over.

They were perennial underachievers in the Huws Gray Alliance and in the blink of an eye the former Rhyl boss turned them into title challengers and cup winners.

Yes, they finished some way behind both Airbus UK Broughton and Prestatyn Town in second place over consecutive season, but this still represents a fantastic achievement, and one McGuinness can look back on with a tremendous sense of pride.

Football doesn’t always work out the way you hoped.

And the simple fact is that McGuinness deserved better.

He’s seen a lot in the managerial game despite not being 30-years-of-age yet. McGuinness went into the United job with a point to prove after his time at the Lilywhites ended on a sour note and there is little doubt the ambitious boss redeemed himself, even if the same eventuality befell him at the Essity Stadium.

Neil Gibson’s availability had a lot do to with it, and only the truly naïve believe that this quick appointment was arranged in the hours after McGuinness had been removed from the post.

That is all part of the ever-changing world of domestic football in Wales, for good or bad. And although cut-throat, Flint does feel like they have a better chance of survival with Gibson at the helm.

This isn’t the end for McGuinness, he cares about the game too much for that. But it is another harsh lesson about trust – or a lack thereof – that he won’t forget in a hurry.