Written

McKinstry: I stayed for the boys

McKinstry could have jumped ship in July ... but he says he felt a duty of care to the academy players and local staff...

JOHNNY McKINSTRY has revealed why he stayed in Sierra Leone after the deadly Ebola outbreak. The Lisburn man was sacked as the national team coach last month but has remained in the country to continue his role with the Craig Bellamy Foundation.

McKinstry could have jumped ship in July ... but he says he felt a duty of care to the academy players and local staff.  He explained:

“I wanted to ensure that at that moment, when panic was setting in around the world about Ebola, we were able to continue to look after the boys at the academy. That seemed avery obvious decision to make at the time and in hindsight it was definitely the correct one."

Developing Football - Coaches and Players

“The subsequent months have given me the opportunity to work with a group of very talented Sierra Leonean staff selected from our nationwide development league and projects, accelerating our long-time aim of increasing the number of local staff and developing their skills."

“And should a new opportunity come along that I am interested in, I know we will have reached the point where my role will have become somewhat redundant as we will have trained the staff to a level where the academy continues to function effectively.”


‘I won’t leave Sierra Leone for the first offer’

While McKinstry is happy to continue his role in the West African nation, he admits the time is right to consider options elsewhere. He added:

“I’ve always wanted to coach at the highest level, be it with a national team or a club. “I believe we did a good job with the national team until Ebola meant we were prevented playing home games. “I want to have a chance of succeeding in any future job but I certainly won’t leave Sierra Leone for the first offer. It must be the right fit.”

 

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News Sun Oct14

 
 
 
Source:  The Sun

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
  • It stands testament to his adaptability, hunger and talent ... that McKinstry has tamed the toughest challenges and risen to become one of the best young managers in football today.

    Read More
    These Football Times
  • There is an almost missionary zeal to Johnny McKinstry's devotion to his job.

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    Daily Mirror
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