Video / TV

BBC One: Football Focus: Ben Smith asks Coach McKinstry about his success; Ebola; and plans for the future.

Coach McKinstry speaks about his career to date, and how in just 18 months he moved Sierra Leone into the top 50 of the world, before the outbreak of Ebola brought things to a halt. 

Ben Smith (BBC One Football Focus) takes up the extraordinary tale of Johnny McKinstry, who became manager of Sierra Leone at the age of just 27.  He led the team into the top 50 in the Fifa world rankings, losing only one of his first six matches. But two months ago, the 29-year old Northern Irishman was sacked by email, as the Ebola outbreak gathered momentum.

 

 

You can also read a supporting web article or watch the interview via the BBC website

 

(Interview originally screened in the UK on Football Focus, BBC One on Saturday 20 December at 12:10 GMT; and around the globe on BBC World Focus).

 

 

 

 

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About Coach McKinstry

Coach McKinstry is a UEFA Pro Licensed Football Coach.  As Head Coach of the Uganda National Team, the 'Uganda Cranes' (2019 - 2021) he delivered a WIN from 2 in every 3 games and went 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.  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 did so by winning all six of their matches, only the second time in Uganda's history that they had done so by winning every game they played in the tournament.  In AFCON qualifiers, under his management Uganda were the only team of all 48 nations competing to have conceded zero goals from open play.

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. 

He was Head Coach of the Sierra Leone National Men's Football team (2013-14). 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 was 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

  • 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
  • McKinstry has come close to a giant killing before, when his Sierra Leone side came within half an hour of defeating Herve Renard’s Cote d’Ivoire.

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    Ed Dove Goal.com
  • 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
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