Sierra Leone National Team

Head Coach Johnny McKinstry and George 'Kweku' Davis  [Leone Stars Training Camp, Cape Verde, June 2013 (Pic: Darren McKinstry)]

Coach McKinstry and the Leone Stars have arrived in Cape Verde ahead of their World Cup qualifier this weekend.

Solomon 'Zombo' Morris (Goalkeeper)  [Leone Stars Training Camp, Cape Verde, June 2013 (Pic: Darren McKinstry)]Coach McKinstry commented "Despite the disappointment of Tunisia's last minute equaliser, the players are in upbeat mood ahead of our game in Praia against Cape Verde."

"However, we know that we face a difficult challenge - our opponents are awaiting CAF’s decision regarding their appeal over 3 points, and if that goes in their favour then they will be in a strong position in the group - as such they will be throwing everything at us come game time."  

The game is only the second in charge for Coach McKinstry, having met the squad just over a week ago

"In terms of overall preparation for the game, we have continued to work on some of the new ideas we have been presenting to the players, and the more time we spend on the training pitch together, the better their understanding of our approach.  It is always difficult in international football, due to the short time we have together to implement the change that is required at times, but we can see the players buy-in to our approach, and we are pleased with the progress being made."

Sam Bangura [Leone Stars Training Camp, Cape Verde, June 2013 (Pic: Darren McKinstry)]

Asked about the short recovery time following the Tunisia game, Coach McKinstry said: 

"We go into the game without a few key players in Tetteh Bangura and Kei Kamara who picked up injuries against Tunisia, as well as Sherif Suma who is suspended.  It is always difficult when you lose players of this calibre, but their absence provides opportunity for other members of the squad to claim the shirt, and I am confident they will be up to the task."

Coach Mckinstry has also taken the opportunity to further enhance the squad by calling up goalkeepers John Trye (USA) and Solomon 'Zombo' Morris (France)



Preparation Highlights

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Notes to Editors

  1. The preparation is in advance of World Cup 2013 Qualifier against Cape Verde on 15 June 2013
  2. The game is the second in charge for Coach McKinstry who was appointed to the post in April 2013.
  3. See for a range of information - biography, press releases and photographs for press use.
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About Coach McKinstry

Coach McKinstry is a UEFA Pro Licensed Football Coach.  He is currently Head Coach of the Uganda National Team - the Uganda 'Cranes'.   By December 2019, after only 3 months in charge, Uganda had won CECAFA 2019; were sitting top of their AFCON qualification group; and had secured 9 wins and 1 draw from 10 games.

He was International Manager and Head Coach of the Rwanda National Football Team (2015-16). 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 (2013-14). 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).  He was Head Coach of Saif Sporting Club, Bangladesh Premier League (2018-19); and FK Kauno Zalgiris, Lithuanian A-Lyga (2017-18).  He is a European (UEFA), American (NSCAA) and university qualified football coach. 

Coach McKinstry is a member of 'Common Goal'. Together members seek to support high-impact organisations that harness the power of football to advance the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Quotes: What the media say

  • McKinstry has a voracious appetite for football and for learning, he lives and breathes it and his sense of adventure means predicting his next move is not easy.

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    Ben Smith BBC Sport
  • Johnny McKinstry is one of the most intelligent, level-headed and knowledgeable managers in the game today. Few can match his achievements by the age of 30, and fewer still the success he has enjoyed in the game.

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    These Football Times
  • McKinstry has experienced much more than the average coach his age. His career has gone from strength to strength, starting in Northern Ireland and England, then via America to West Africa eventually.

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    Damien Edgar Backpage Football
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