Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Former Rwanda national coach Johnathan McKinstry has arrived in Uganda and was immediately unveiled as Cranes’ new head coach.
Currently ranked 80 in the FIFA World Rankings, McKinstry who is only 34 years-old, is taking on one of the top international positions in Africa. With this appointment he becomes the first person from Northern Ireland to be Head Coach of three different international men’s football teams.
A team on the rise, in recent years the Uganda Cranes have secured qualification for AFCON (2017, 2019) and reached the first knock-out round (2019) – having not qualified for AFCON for the previous 40 years.
McKinstry confirmed in a press release on his personal website (click to read press statement), that he has been appointed on a three- year contract to maintain this progress and make Uganda a more competitive force at future tournaments. He said his task will also include developing and embedding a winning culture that can drive Uganda forward towards future tournament and World Cup qualification.
“I am honoured to be asked by FUFA to become Head Coach of the Uganda Cranes, and excited to work with an excellent group of players. Together we will work to raise the level of performances and secure results,” said Coach McKinstry. (video bottom)
“My objective will be to take the best of what is already there and combine it with both new talent and new working practices to improve performance. With effort and application we can maximise both individual and team potential in the months and years ahead.”
Asked to comment on the CHAN and AFCON matches that will take place of the next few weeks, Coach McKinstry responded: “Time is limited, so players and staff will we need to be proactive and work to our best to ensure we are prepared for the immediate challenges. It is vital that we get to work straight away. While substantial improvement will take time to bed in, we will first focus on preparing for the second leg of the CHAN qualifier with Burundi which is less than 3 weeks away, and then the opening game of AFCON qualification away to Burkina Faso in 6 weeks.”
The young coach is experienced at the highest level, including as Head Coach of both the Rwanda National Football Team and the Sierra Leone National Football Team. He has been coaching Bangladesh Premier League team, Saif Sporting Club Ltd.
Soccer governing body FUFA revealed last week that they had fi nalized the search for a new Uganda Cranes national coach .
Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) president Moses Magogo told an annual general meeting in Adjumani that “we have gone through a process of looking for a new head coach and he will be named next week. ”
The acting head coach of the Uganda Cranes is Abdallah Mubiru who was appointed in July 2019 to replace Frenchman Sebastien Desabre “whose contract was ended by mutual consent.” Sebastien took the Uganda Cranes to the 2019 AFCON in Egypt.
— FUFA (@OfficialFUFA) September 30, 2019
Asked to comment on the new appointment, former Cranes coach now at Zamalek in Egypt, Milutin Sredojević ‘Micho’, said, “Johnathan has come to a country of good people and passionate football lovers that have huge space to improve and room to develop. He is a past sports opponent of mine, colleague and personal friend, so I sincerely wish him the best – like every supporter of a new coach.”
Uganda Cranes Coaches since 1969
⚽ Burkhard Pape – 1969-1972
⚽ David Otti – 1973-1974
⚽ Westerhoff Otto – 1974-1975
⚽ Peter Okee – 1976-1981, 1983
⚽ Bidandi Ssali- 1982
⚽ George Mukasa – 1984-1985
⚽ Barnabas Mwesigwa – 1986-1988
⚽ Robert Kiberu – 1988-1989
⚽ Polly Ouma – 1989-1995
⚽ Timothy Ayieko – 1995-1996
⚽ Asuman Lubowa – 1996-1999
⚽ Paul Hasule – 1999
⚽ Harrison Okagbue 1999-2001
⚽ Paul Hasule- 2001-2003
⚽ Pedro Pasculi – 2003
⚽ Leo Adraa – 2003-2004
⚽ Mike Mutebi – 2004
⚽ Mohammood Abbas – 2004-2006
⚽ Laszlo Csaba- 2006-2008
⚽ Bobby William- 2008-2013
⚽ Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic – 2013-2017
⚽ Moses Basena –August 2017 – 27th December 2017
⚽ Sébastien Desabre – 28th December 2017 – 6th July 2019
⚽ Abdallah Mubiru – 10th July 2019 (Interim)
⚽ Johnathan McKinstry – September 2019 –