Written

McKinstry: I stayed for the boys

McKinstry could have jumped ship in July ... but he says he felt a duty of care to the academy players and local staff...

JOHNNY McKINSTRY has revealed why he stayed in Sierra Leone after the deadly Ebola outbreak. The Lisburn man was sacked as the national team coach last month but has remained in the country to continue his role with the Craig Bellamy Foundation.

McKinstry could have jumped ship in July ... but he says he felt a duty of care to the academy players and local staff.  He explained:

“I wanted to ensure that at that moment, when panic was setting in around the world about Ebola, we were able to continue to look after the boys at the academy. That seemed avery obvious decision to make at the time and in hindsight it was definitely the correct one."

Developing Football - Coaches and Players

“The subsequent months have given me the opportunity to work with a group of very talented Sierra Leonean staff selected from our nationwide development league and projects, accelerating our long-time aim of increasing the number of local staff and developing their skills."

“And should a new opportunity come along that I am interested in, I know we will have reached the point where my role will have become somewhat redundant as we will have trained the staff to a level where the academy continues to function effectively.”


‘I won’t leave Sierra Leone for the first offer’

While McKinstry is happy to continue his role in the West African nation, he admits the time is right to consider options elsewhere. He added:

“I’ve always wanted to coach at the highest level, be it with a national team or a club. “I believe we did a good job with the national team until Ebola meant we were prevented playing home games. “I want to have a chance of succeeding in any future job but I certainly won’t leave Sierra Leone for the first offer. It must be the right fit.”

 

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News Sun Oct14

 
 
 
Source:  The Sun

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About Coach McKinstry

Coach McKinstry is a UEFA Pro Licensed Football Coach, with a number of successes across his 20+ year career to date.    He is currently Head Coach of the Gambia National Team and Head Coach of Gor Mahia FC in Kenya (2022-24) where he won two Kenya Premier League titles (2023-24, 2022-23), and the 2023-24 Kenya Charity Shield, returning the club to the top of Kenyan football.

As Head Coach of the Uganda National Team, (2019 - 2021) he led Uganda to win CECAFA 2019 and delivered a win from 2 in every 3 games, going undefeated in 8 in evey 10 games.  This represented the highest 'win' and 'undefeated' rate achieved by a Uganda National Team Coach in over 15 years.

He was Head Coach of the Rwanda National Football Team (2015-16). Within 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. 

Across 2013-14, he was Head Coach of the Sierra Leone National Men's Football team. 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 has also been Head Coach of Saif Sporting Club, Bangladesh Premier League (2018-19); and FK Kauno Zalgiris, Lithuanian A-Lyga (2017-18).   

Coach McKinstry is a European (UEFA), American (NSCAA) and university qualified football coach and a member of Common Goal.

Quotes: What the media say

  • McKinstry has become one of the most rounded and well-travelled British coaches at the highest level abroad.

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    These Football Times
  • Under his management, the team played attractive football, scored goals and racked up some important results.

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    Eoin O'Callaghan the42.ie
  • McKinstry made an impressive start, losing just one of his first six matches and leading Sierra Leone into the top 50 of Fifa's world rankings, above Northern Ireland, the Republic, Cameroon and Senegal.

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    Ben Smith BBC Sport
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