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PROFILE: Facts About 34-Year Old New Uganda Cranes Head Coach

The Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) on Monday announced Johnathan  McKinstry aka Johnny  the new Uganda Cranes head coach, replacing Sebastien Desabre who quit for greener pastures after Afcon 2019 tournament.

Announcing Johnny, FUFA CEO, Edgar Watson said: “We selected a coach who fits in our vision of being the no. 1 footballing nation in Africa on and off the pitch.”

Edgar Watson (R) welcoming Johnathan  McKinstry

But who is Mckinstry?

Born on  16 July 1985, Mckinstry is a Northern Irish UEFA Pro licensed football manager.Prior to joining Uganda, he was the Head Coach of Bangladesh Football Premier League team Saif SC. Following the completion of the 2018-19 Season in which the team set new club records for Most Points in a league season, most wins in a league season, and most Goals Scored in a league season; McKinstry was rewarded with a new 12 month contract to lead SAIF Sporting Club in the 2019-2020 season

He is not new to the African football.

Previously McKinstry managed the Rwanda national team and  the Sierra Leone national team, He also managed  Kauno Žalgiris in the A Lyga. Whilst in charge of Sierra Leone, McKinstry was the youngest international manager in the world at 27 years old.

He has coached in several countries; Northern Ireland, England, USA, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Lithuania. His early career was focused on elite youth development through roles with Newcastle United, New York Red Bulls, the Right to Dream Academy and the Craig Bellamy Foundation.

In 2013,  McKinstry moved into senior professional football when he was appointed manager of the Sierra Leone national football team, whom he guided to their highest ever FIFA World Ranking position.

He has more recently been manager of the Rwanda national football team guiding them to the Final of the 2015 CECAFA Cup and Quarter Finals of the 2016 African Nations Championship, and of Kauno Žalgiris of Lithuania’s A Lyga.

In December 2017 McKinstry was shortlisted by the Ugandan FA for their national team manager position and in April 2018 he was one of 77 applicants for the vacant Cameroon national team job.

It was also confirmed by officials of the Football Association of Zambia in June 2018 that McKinstry had made the final 2-man shortlist of candidates under consideration to be named Head Coach of the Zambia national football team.

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