Coach McKinstry

OFFICIAL PRESS STATEMENT: Coach McKinstry has departed his role as the Head National Coach of Rwanda National Soccer Team (18 August 2016).

Responding to the announcement Coach McKinstry said:

"It has been an honour to be Head Coach of the Rwanda National Team for the past year and a half.

Leading Rwanda to their best ever tournament performance - the last eight of the CAF Nations Championship 2016 - is naturally the stand out moment; but also that our CAF Nations Cup and CECAFA Challenge Cup performances have each only been bettered once before by any Rwandan team in history.

Being named ’Coach of the Tournament’ following our CECAFA Challenge Cup 2015 performance also underlined the good progress the team were making through our work together.

Despite the successes, some point to a fall in the FIFA ranking. However, it was agreed when I arrived that we would target match wins in CHAN, and improvements for the long term... We not only delivered our best ever performance in CHAN, but also matched or exceeded almost all past performances in CECAFA and AFCON.

The specific reasons behind the decision have not been made fully clear to me - so given our performance to date I am therefore both surprised and disappointed by the announcement today, and that myself and the team will not be able to finish what we started. Had we been able to do so this young team, assembled since the decision to dispense with the use of foreign naturalised players just prior to my appointment, would certainly go on to achieve even greater success than it has already done.

Given what I and this team have achieved in just 17 months, I know that history will look back upon this period of time as one of the most progressive and successful in Rwandan football.

I wish to thank the players, support staff, wider colleagues and all the Rwandans whom I had great pleasure to meet with. Overall, my time as Head Coach of Rwanda is one that I will always look back on with fondness and pride."

 Coach McKinstry quote

Notes to Editors

  • Coach McKinstry was first appointed as Head Coach of the Rwanda National team in March 2015.  On appointment, Coach McKinstry became for the second time the youngest active coach in international football (29 at the time). 
  • In March 2016, he was re-appointed on a further 2 year contract as Head Coach of the Rwanda National team, after a strong first year in charge.
  • In just 17 months under his leadership as Head Coach, the Rwanda National team have achieved a number of performance milestones - in a number of cases exceeding or setting new benchmarks for Rwandan football.

CAF Nations Cup (AFCON):

  • At time of writing Rwanda are 2nd in Group H (with 6 points) behind group winners Ghana with 1 game left to play.
  • Not only is this exceeding their Group H seeding (they were drawn as 3rd seeds in the group), but current performance under his leadership matches or exceeds that achieved in ALL of Rwanda's past AFCON final qualification phases with the exception of 2004 (when Rwanda qualified with 7 points).
  • As part of this AFCON qualifying group, Rwanda, under his leadership have established new benchmarks. They have:
    • recorded their first competitive away victory, after four years without a competitive away win (1-0 vs. Mozambique); and
    • registered their biggest ever victory in a FIFA / AFCON qualifying match (5-0 vs. Mauritius)

CAF Nations Championship (CHAN):

CECAFA Challenge Cup:

  • In December 2015, under his leadership, Rwanda finished as Runners-up at the 2015 CECAFA Challenge Cup
  • This matches or exceeds the performance achieved in all past CECAFA Challenge Cup competitions with the exception of 1999 (when a Rwanda 'B' team won the competition as hosts)
  • En-route to the final Rwanda defeated hosts Ethiopia, reigning champions Kenya, and the previous competition Runners-up, Sudan
  • Coach McKinstry was awarded 'Coach of the Tournament' for his efforts.

 

  • These milestones are all the more impressive given the decisions by the relevant authorities just before his arrival to cease the practice of using ‘naturalised players’ for the Rwanda National Football Senior Team - fundamentally changing the player pool that had formed the core of the squad until that point.

 

For more details of Coach McKinstry's time with the Rwanda national team see www.johnnymckinstry.com/amavubi

Previously Coach McKinstry was Head Coach of the Sierra Leone National Football team. Within just 16 months (August 2014) Coach McKinstry had led Sierra Leone to their highest ever FIFA World and CAF/African rankings - 7th in Africa and 50th in the World - both well above their lowest ever ranking of 172 in 2007, an achievement hailed by Fifa.com as "remarkable".

 

Interview Requests

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any requests.  It is not envisaged that there will be any further statements at this time.

 

Download Pictures (for Media Use)

See www.johnnymckinstry.com/gallery to download pictures for use in press reporting or social media (terms apply)

More News

Visit www.johnnymckinstry.com/amavubi

You can also follow @johnnymckinstry , @RwandaAmavubi or @XtraTimeSports on twitter.

About Coach McKinstry

Johnny McKinstry is a UEFA Pro Licensed Football Coach.  He was International Manager and Head Coach of the Rwanda National Football Team from March 2015 - August 2016.  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 from April 2013 - September 2014.   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).  From Jan 2010 - Dec 2014 he set up and developed the Craig Bellamy Elite Soccer Academy in Sierra Leone - placing elite young players in Europe, Asia and North America. He is a European (UEFA), American (NSCAA) and university qualified football coach.

 

Gallery

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Quotes: What the media say

  • 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
  • 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.

    Read More
    These Football Times
  • The figures do not lie. The six matches on McKinstry’s watch have been World Cup or Cup of Nations qualifiers. They have lost one.

    Read More
    the guardian
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