Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) earlier this week confirmed the appointment of Johnathan McKinstry as the Uganda Uganda Cranes head coach for a period of three years, effective 1st October 2019.
The appointment was confirmed to the media on Monday, 30th September 2019 during a special press conference held at the FUFA Headquarters in Mengo, Kampala.
The 34-year old replaced Frenchman Sebastien Desabre whose contract was mutually terminated by the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) after Uganda Cranes’ AFCON 2019 finals in Egypt.
At the briefing, he was presented by top FUFA officials led by acting President Justus Mugisha. Present also were CEO Edgar Watson, Executive Committee members Ronnie Kalema and Rogers Byamukama and the Communications Director Ahmed Hussein.
McKinstry who was visibly excited confessed he is happy to take on the mantle as he admitted the Job is now of the biggest and most recognized on the continent.
‘There is no doubt that the Uganda Cranes job is one of the best jobs in international football across all over Africa. I am excited to be here. The players here are the group I believe we can achieve a lot with. They are full of positive energy and burning passion. We shall work towards qualification to the FIFA World Cup’ Coach McKinstry stated as he freely interacted with the media
BUT WHO IS JONATHAN McKINSTRY?
McKinstry was born on 16th July, 1985 in Lishurn, Northern Ireland and holds a UEFA PRO coaching license. UEFA Pro licence is one mandated by UEFA, the official governing body of European football. It is the highest coaching certification available and generally follows the completion of the UEFA ‘B’ and ‘A’ licences.
He has previously coached two African countries; Sierra Leone and Rwanda. He also has vast experience across the globe having coached in several countries like Northern Ireland, England, USA, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Lithuania. His early career was focused on elite youth development through roles with Newcastle United, New York Red Bulls, the Right to Dream Academy and the Craig Bellamy Foundation.
He becomes the first coach from Northern Ireland to handle the Uganda Cranes and joins the long list of foreign based coaches to take the job.
FUFA CEO during the unveiling ceremony had this to say about their choice; “In line with FUFA’s mission of being the number one football nation in Africa on and off the field, we thought of McKinstry. We also looked at the potential of the coach, one who could fit in the Ugandan style of play. And we needed a resident coach”
His immediate work will see him handle the Uganda Cranes in the return leg of the CHAN 2020 Qualifiers against Burundi on 19th October 2019 in Kampala and will work alongside the two interim coaches Abdallah Mubiru and Charles Livingstone Mbabazi.