Johnathan Mckinstry: Gambia confirm appointment of former Gor Mahia head coach

Johnathan Mckinstry: Gambia confirm appointment of former Gor Mahia head coach

Festus Chuma 12:00 - 22.05.2024

The Northern Irishman has been appointed as Gambia's head coach, aiming to lead them to the 2025 AFCON and 2026 World Cup.

The Gambia Football Federation (GFF) has confirmed the appointment of Johnathan McKinstry as their new national team head coach. 

The Irishman succeeds Tom Saintfiet, who stepped down following Gambia's group-stage exit from the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

In an official statement, the GFF announced that McKinstry has already arrived in the country and signed a two-year contract. 

"The Gambia Football Federation wishes to congratulate and welcome our new gaffer Jonathan McKinstry on his appointment as Head Coach of the Scorpions. Jonny, a former Sierra Leone, Uganda, and Rwanda coach, is the current manager of Gor Mahia FC in Kenya and will take over from 1st June, 2024. He’s to oversee our qualification for the 2025 AFCON and 2026 World Cup," the statement reads.

McKinstry's immediate focus will be on preparing the Scorpions for the upcoming qualifiers in June. Gambia is positioned in Group F, alongside Kenya, Ivory Coast, Burundi, Gabon, and Seychelles. 

The team is set to host Seychelles on June 3 before traveling to Gabon for a June 10 fixture in the third and fourth matches of the qualification rounds.

McKinstry joins Gambia following a successful tenure at Gor Mahia, where he revitalized the Kenyan club's fortunes. 

When he arrived at Gor Mahia, the team was struggling to remain competitive, with Tusker having won back-to-back titles. 

Under McKinstry's guidance, Gor Mahia clinched the crown by a single point last season and secured their second consecutive title with an 11-point gap, three games before the end of the current season.

Before his stint at Gor Mahia, McKinstry served as the head coach of Uganda's national team, achieving a commendable 67% win rate from 18 games and steering the Cranes to victory in the 2019 CECAFA Challenge Cup.

His coaching journey also includes stints with Sierra Leone, Rwanda, and Bangladesh Premier League club Saif SC.

McKinstry's appointment has generated optimism among Gambian football fans, who are hopeful that his experience and track record will translate into success for the national team. 

His primary objective will be to lead the Scorpions to the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Follow us on X (Twitter) for more updates.