Johnny McKinstry, International Manager

Coach McKinstry is a professional football manager with experience at full international level (Uganda, Rwanda & Sierra Leone). 

He was Head Coach of the Uganda National Team (2019-2021).  From 2015 - 2016 he was Head Coach of the Rwanda National Football Team.  Prior to that, he was Head Coach of the Sierra Leone National Football team (2013 - 2014).  On those occasions, he was the youngest active head coach in international football. 

With Uganda, Coach McKinstry delivered a WIN from 2 in every 3 games and led Uganda to win CECAFA 2019.  He led Rwanda to their best ever performance in a major competition (Quarter-Finals of the 2016 CAF Nations Championship), and led Sierra Lone to their highest ever FIFA World and African rankings - 7th in Africa and 50th in the World.

 

 

Head Coach, Uganda National Football Team 

jmck logo fufaAs Head Coach of the Uganda National Team, the 'Uganda Cranes' (2019-2021) overall Coach McKinstry delivered a WIN from 2 in every 3 games and went undefeated in over 8 in every 10 games - the highest 'win' and 'undefeated' ratios achieved by a Uganda National Team Coach in over a decade. 

Comparing games under his management with the same number of games immediately before his appointment, he had improved Uganda's win ratio by 103% (67% Win vs 33% Win previously).   

In his first 3 months in charge, he had led Uganda to win CECAFA 2019; had put Uganda top of their AFCON qualification group; and secured 9 wins and 1 draw from his first 10 games.  In winning CECAFA 2019, Uganda won all six of their matches, scoring fourteen goals and conceding just two.  Winning CECAFA for a record 15th time, it was only the second time in Uganda's history that they had done so by winning every game in the tournament. 

 Read more about Coach McKinstry's work with the Uganda National Team.

 

 

Head Coach, Rwanda National Football Team

FERWAFA logo

From March 2015 - August 2016 Coach McKinstry was International Manager and Head Coach of the Rwanda National Football Team.  

In just 17 months he led Rwanda to new heights - securing Rwanda’s best ever performance in a major competition (Quarter-Finals of the 2016 CAF Nations Championship).  He led Rwanda to the runner-up spot in CECAFA 2015 (being named 'Coach of the Tournament' for his efforts).

He also secured Rwanda’s biggest ever victory in FIFA or CAF qualifying (5-0 vs Mauritius); securing Rwanda’s first competitive away win in 4 years (vs Mozambique, AFCON qualifying); and placing Rwanda second in AFCON 2017 group qualifying with 6 points (both achievements having only been once before bettered in Rwanda’s history - in 2004).

Read more about Coach McKinstry's work with the Rwanda National Team.

 

 

Head Coach, Sierra Leone National Football Team

Sierra Leone Coat of ArmsAppointed as Head Coach of the Sierra Leone National Men's Football team (the 'Leone Stars') on 11th April 2013, Coach McKinstry became the youngest active Head Coach in international football. At only 27 years of age, this achievement was surpassed only by former Porto, Chelsea and Tottenham Manager Andre Villas-Boas who was 22 when he lead the British Virgin Islands.

Within just 16 months (August 2014) Coach McKinstry had led Sierra Lone to their highest ever FIFA World and African rankings - 7th in Africa and 50th in the World - both well above their lowest ever ranking of 172 in 2007.

 Fifa.com hailed this achievement as "remarkable" and referring to his initial time in charge noted:

"Under McKinstry, Sierra Leone have played six matches, losing just one FIFA World Cup™ qualifier in Cape Verde Islands 1-0, but also achieving a morale-boosting 2-2 draw against African powerhouse Tunisia in the same competition. He has steered the team into the group stages of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers after beating Swaziland and Seychelles in the knock-out stages, with a 2-0 victory over the latter."

 Read more about Coach McKinstry's achievements with the Sierra Leone National Team.   

 

 

 

Leone Stars Head Coach Johnny McKinstry looks on as the Leone Stars maintain their lead over Tunisia, June 2013 (Pic: Darren McKinstry)

 

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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 Gor Mahia FC in Kenya

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

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. 

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).  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

  • 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
  • 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
  • This is not a man who does things by the book. Having been a coach from the age of 15, McKinstry already has miles on the clock.

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    Ben Smith BBC Sport
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