McKinstry explains why he wants to stay at Gor Mahia with promises of major changes ahead of next season

FOOTBALL: McKinstry explains why he wants to stay at Gor Mahia with promises of major changes ahead of next season

Joel Omotto 10:00 - 26.06.2023

The Northern Irishman feels he still has more to accomplish with the 20-time Kenyan champions

Gor Mahia coach Jonathan McKinstry is confident of staying at the club beyond this season after leading them to their 20th league title on Sunday.

Speculation was rife that the Northern Irishman would leave the club after the final match with reports claiming that club chairman Ambrose Rachier intends to make changes in the dugout.

However, with the title win, McKinstry seems to have strengthened his position and he believes he still the right man to lead what he terms a ‘developing project’ forward.

“When I came into the club, they wanted me to sign a multi-year deal like four or five years because it was about building the team over four, five years,” McKinstry said after Sunday’s 4-1 win over Nairobi City Stars.

“We ended up going for something a bit shorter than that but it’s a developing project, we want to do better, we know there is more to come so I’m already thinking about pre-season training and getting ready to defend our title.”

With the title win seeing Gor Mahia qualify for the CAF Champions League, the tactician feels a lot of changes will be needed for them to challenge on multiple fronts and it might mean ditching some players for more experienced ones.

“This is still a developing team, we are ahead of schedule, when I came to the club it was very much about building the team it wasn’t necessarily about winning the league this season. We wanted to try but if we didn’t, it was about developing the team,” he added.

“We are going to have to make tough decision because we have continental football next year, we have the league to defend now, so we have to improve the team.

“That’s difficult decisions because sometimes you have to make decisions about players coming and players going and doing that in a championship team sometimes it’s very difficult. So, we will do it to be ready for pre-season.”

Gor Mahia have had to rely on a number of young players this season after they were slapped with a transfer ban over nonpayment of salaries to former players but with the ban over, they are among teams expected to be busy in the market in search for better quality and experience.