Sierra Leone National Team

Head Coach Johnny McKinstry and George 'Kweku' Davis  [Leone Stars Training Camp, Cape Verde, June 2013 (Pic: Darren McKinstry)]

Coach McKinstry and the Leone Stars have arrived in Cape Verde ahead of their World Cup qualifier this weekend.

Solomon 'Zombo' Morris (Goalkeeper)  [Leone Stars Training Camp, Cape Verde, June 2013 (Pic: Darren McKinstry)]Coach McKinstry commented "Despite the disappointment of Tunisia's last minute equaliser, the players are in upbeat mood ahead of our game in Praia against Cape Verde."

"However, we know that we face a difficult challenge - our opponents are awaiting CAF’s decision regarding their appeal over 3 points, and if that goes in their favour then they will be in a strong position in the group - as such they will be throwing everything at us come game time."  

The game is only the second in charge for Coach McKinstry, having met the squad just over a week ago

"In terms of overall preparation for the game, we have continued to work on some of the new ideas we have been presenting to the players, and the more time we spend on the training pitch together, the better their understanding of our approach.  It is always difficult in international football, due to the short time we have together to implement the change that is required at times, but we can see the players buy-in to our approach, and we are pleased with the progress being made."

Sam Bangura [Leone Stars Training Camp, Cape Verde, June 2013 (Pic: Darren McKinstry)]

Asked about the short recovery time following the Tunisia game, Coach McKinstry said: 

"We go into the game without a few key players in Tetteh Bangura and Kei Kamara who picked up injuries against Tunisia, as well as Sherif Suma who is suspended.  It is always difficult when you lose players of this calibre, but their absence provides opportunity for other members of the squad to claim the shirt, and I am confident they will be up to the task."

Coach Mckinstry has also taken the opportunity to further enhance the squad by calling up goalkeepers John Trye (USA) and Solomon 'Zombo' Morris (France)



Preparation Highlights

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Notes to Editors

  1. The preparation is in advance of World Cup 2013 Qualifier against Cape Verde on 15 June 2013
  2. The game is the second in charge for Coach McKinstry who was appointed to the post in April 2013.
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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

  • Very few 29-year-olds have managed a national football team. None have done it while that country is being brought to its knees by Ebola.

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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
  • 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.

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    the guardian
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