Captain Fantastic Paul McGinley confessed he’s been inspired by his Vivendi Trophy young guns to try and make next year’s Ryder Cup team.

The Dubliner’s brilliant leadership in Paris has made him the red-hot favourite to become the first Irishman to captain a Ryder Cup side at Gleneagles in 2014.

But the three-time Ryder Cup winner isn’t ready to hang up his spikes and while he turns 43 in December, he'd love to join the likes of Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Chris Wood in Colin Montgomerie’s 2010 side.

Wishful thinking by a player past his prime or a declaration of intent by a very determined man? Probably a bit of both.

Beaming after a record equalling five-point win, McGinley said: "I was very envious of them out there competing the way they did. I am looking forward to coming back myself to do it.

"I certainly want to get back to playing. I am ready to go and compete. A lot of these players will be in the Ryder Cup next year and any of the 20 players here this week would grace the Ryder Cup.  It will really stand to them.

"People have talked to me about becoming Ryder Cup captain for quite a while. I have really enjoyed it but I don’t think I am ready to be a captain. I want to get back to playing. We have a great captain in Colin Montgomerie next year and I look forward to his captaincy."

McGinley will resume his playing schedule in Scotland for this week's Dunhill Links Championship, where he will be partnered by the Desperate Housewives and Twin Peaks star Kyle MacLachlan in the annual pro-am at St Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie.

"I have done my bit of gym work this week and tried to stay on top of everything from a personal point of view looking ahead to the Dunhill Links. I want to get out there and compete with these guys," he said.

Down to 224th in the latest world rankings, McGinley knows that it would take a miracle for him to qualify for his fourth Ryder Cup automatically.

"I am way down because I am not in any of the world events or the majors. By not being in those events, I have got a severe handicap in terms of making the team. It is going to be a huge thing for me to make the team from my current position in the world ranking. Huge. I am going to miss $50m in prize money that the other guys can play for. Maybe more. So, I am a hell of a way back. At the moment it is not a realistic goal to make that Ryder Cup team." 

But it’s still a goal?

"Yeah. If I play really well and have a really good campaign on the European Tour I will be a strong contender for a pick if I got myself in position. So I think that’s my best chance of making that team."

Naturally, he has occasionally wondered if his best days are behind him.

"Of course, those things go through my head. Maybe I have passed my peak. Maybe that was it. But I don’t think it is. I think there is more to come. And that what keeps me going forward. I know when I play well, I can still play really well. Not that I have done much of if this year. I know the golf I have played over the last month is more reminiscent of Paul McGinley.

"I have probably practised harder than I have ever practised before. I am still hugely ambitious. I still feel my game is good enough to compete when I am playing well. I still really enjoy it."

Whatever happens on the course, he has made himself an automatic choice to lead the side in Scotland in 2014 because of his instant chemistry with the young guns.

With Jose Maria Olazabal expected to be in charge in America in 2012, McGinley seems a natural choice for Gleneagles two years later when he would be 47.

The Ryder Cup committee wants a captain who is in touch with the new stars and McGinley certainly fits the bill for players like McIlroy, McDowell and Wood.

In fact, McIlroy enjoyed McGinley’s captaincy so much that he couldn't wait to get to the daily team meetings.

McIlroy said: "Every team meeting was at half seven and I actually looked forward to being in the team meetings. I was usually turning up at a quarter past because I got such a buzz. Paul’s been fantastic all week, and I think all of the lads will say that. We couldn't have done half of what we have this week if it wasn't for him."

McDowell seconded McIlroy’s endorsement of McGinley as a future Ryder Cup skipper, explaining: "Paul McGinley has done an unbelievable job this week motivating the guys, keeping everybody in the loop, asking the guys where they want to play, who they want to play with.

"He's been a really, really good motivator. You know, they have the best team on paper, no doubt about it, but we were up for it. We wanted to come here and play as a team and play together, and we probably had ten guys who are really good friends before this week and we really played together as a team.

"I think Paul would make a fantastic captain. He's very methodical in his preparation and understands what players need and want.

"Paul and Monty are very much in the same mould - very intelligent and articulate guys who will put a great team together and motivate the guys well."

Wood, 21, said: "He was brilliant. Every single player has said he's been a great captain, very inspirational. He said the right things at the right times. He knows what is to say to his player and he had a game plan all weekend that he really stuck to."

If he fails to qualify for next year's Ryder Cup team, McGinley is certain to be at Celtic Manor as an assistant to Montgomerie, who described the Irishman's Vivendi Trophy captaincy as "incredible."

Monty said: "He's taken to this like a fish to water. His team meetings have been exceptional. He's worked as a psychologist as well and I've been very impressed with him."

McGinley thrives on team situations and reckons his GAA background gave him an edge in Paris.

He said: "I've always been a team player. As a person, I mean, my background as everybody knows up to the age of 19, I really wasn't a golfer. I was a footballer and that's my background. I have always thrived on being part of a team.

"As I said to the guys at the start of the week, the most fun I've ever had playing golf has been part of a team. If I can impart some of that fun onto them, and impart some of that experience that I've learned, I'd be delighted. I've learned a lot."