Coach McKinstry moves on from A-Lyga club FK Kauno Zalgiris

Coach McKinstry has departed from his role as Head Coach of A-Lyga club FK Kauno Zalgiris (Jan 2018).

The moment has come to announce my departure from the role as Head Coach with Lithuanian A-Lyga club FK Kauno Zalgiris. 

Unfortunately the ongoing uncertainty regarding the continuation of Kauno Zalgiris in the A-Lyga for the 2018 season has led to the conclusion, following ongoing discussions between the club and myself, that now is a prudent time for my departure. 

When I arrived in Kaunas towards the end of the 2017 season, my primary focus was two-fold: to use my expertise to assist the club to become more competitive on the field of play; and to identify short, medium and long-term actions that would allow the football club to establish itself as a regular force in the A-Lyga. 

In the short-time since then we have seen a significant up-turn in performances from both individuals and the team as a whole.  Our work to improve the fitness, attitude, performance and dynamic within the first-team squad has enabled the club to secure some previously unexpected results; and helped players to secure selection for international duty.

Off the field we have also mapped out a development pathway for the club as a whole – focusing on talent identification, recruitment, development and the establishment of partnerships with third parties.  If implemented, I am confident that this will allow FK Kauno Zalgiris to secure their place at the centre of A-Lyga football in Lithuania and, in time, beyond. 

I wish FK Kauno Zalgiris, players and fans all the best for the future.


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Further information on Coach McKinstry's July 2017 appointment with Kauno Zalgiris can be found at: 

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About Coach McKinstry

Johnny McKinstry is a UEFA Pro Licensed Football Coach.  He was International Manager and Head Coach of the Rwanda National Football Team from March 2015 - August 2016.  Within just 17 months he led Rwanda to a number of highs - including their first ever appearance in the knockout stages of a major international tournament (Quarter-finals of CHAN, Jan 2016) and finished runner-up in CECAFA (Dec 2105), being named 'Coach of the Tournament' for his efforts.  

He was Head Coach of the Sierra Leone National Men's Football team from April 2013 - September 2014.   Within just over a year, he had led Sierra Leone to their highest ever FIFA World and African rankings - 7th in Africa and 50th in the World (August 2014).  From Jan 2010 - Dec 2014 he set up and developed the Craig Bellamy Elite Soccer Academy in Sierra Leone - placing elite young players in Europe, Asia and North America. He is a European (UEFA), American (NSCAA) and university qualified football coach.