Video / TV

BBC One: Football Focus: Ben Smith asks Coach McKinstry about his success; Ebola; and plans for the future.

Coach McKinstry speaks about his career to date, and how in just 18 months he moved Sierra Leone into the top 50 of the world, before the outbreak of Ebola brought things to a halt. 

Ben Smith (BBC One Football Focus) takes up the extraordinary tale of Johnny McKinstry, who became manager of Sierra Leone at the age of just 27.  He led the team into the top 50 in the Fifa world rankings, losing only one of his first six matches. But two months ago, the 29-year old Northern Irishman was sacked by email, as the Ebola outbreak gathered momentum.

 

 

You can also read a supporting web article or watch the interview via the BBC website

 

(Interview originally screened in the UK on Football Focus, BBC One on Saturday 20 December at 12:10 GMT; and around the globe on BBC World Focus).

 

 

 

 

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(Photography by: www.xtratimesports.net)

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Twitter: @johnnymckinstry

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You can read more about Coach McKinstry's:

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

  • 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 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
  • Leone Stars shine with purpose... what is even more remarkable is what the young Northern Irishman has done ... the Leone Stars are ranked 50th in the world and seventh in Africa – higher than they have ever been.

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    fifa.com
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