By his own confession, Johnathan “Johnny” McKinstry described the head coach job for the Uganda national football team (Uganda Cranes) as one of the most internationally recognized jobs on the African continent.

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.

McKinstry signed a three year deal with the FUFA effective 1st October 2019.

FUFA Johnny McKinstry inks the employment contract on 30th September 2019 at FUFA Headquarters in Kampala, Uganda

I am excited to work for Uganda. The head coach job of Uganda Cranes is one of the best international jobs on the African continent. It is pleasure that FUFA trusted me with the job. I am looking forward to work with the players. The players in Uganda have the best attitude and have a burning desire to play football.

Johnathan McKinstry, Uganda Cranes Head Coach
John Batanudde | Kawowo Sports Johnathan McKinstry smiles during his maiden press conference in Uganda at FUFA House, Kampala on Monday, 30th September 2019

McKinstry hails from Northern Ireland and holds a UEFA PRO coaching licence.

He has previously coached two African countries; Sierra Leone and Rwanda.

McKinstry will work alongside the two interim coaches Abdallah Mubiru and Charles Livingstone Mbabazi.

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.

John Batanudde | Kawowo Sports Johnathan McKinstry shows off the Uganda Cranes customized red jersey at FUFA House

Other foreign coaches for the job:

Others include Englishman Alan Rogers (1965-1966), Burkhard Pape (Germany) – 1969–1972, Otto Westerhoff (Germany) – 1974–1975, Harrison Okagbue (Nigeria) – 1999–2001, Pedro Pasculli (Argentina) – 2003), Mohammed Abbas (Egypt) – 2004–2006, Csaba László (Hungary) – 2006–2008, Bobby Williamson (Scotland) – 2008–2013, Milutin Sredojević (Serbia) – 2013–2017 and most recently Frenchman Louis Serge Sébastien Desabre (2017–2019).

McKinstry’s 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.

Bio Data:

  • Date of Birth: 16th July, 1985
  • Place of Birth: Lishurn, Northern Ireland
  • Teams Managed: Sierra Leone National team (2013-2014), Rwanda National team (2015-2016), Kauno Zalgiris (Lithuania; 2017 – 2018), Siaf SC (Bangladesh; 2018-September 27th 2019)
  • Coach of the Tournament: CECAFA 2015 Senior Challenge Cup

Uganda Cranes coaches since 1965:

  • Alan Rogers (England) – 1965–1966
  • Robert Kiberu (Uganda) – 1967–1969
  • Burkhard Pape (Germany) – 1969–1972
  • David Otti (Uganda) – 1973–1974
  • Otto Westerhoff (Germany) – 1974–1975
  • Peter Okee (Uganda) – 1976–1981
  • Bidandi Ssali (Uganda) – 1982
  • Peter Okee (Uganda) – 1983
  • George Mukasa (Uganda) – 1984–1985
  • Barnabas Mwesigwa (Uganda) – 1986–1988
  • Robert Kiberu (Uganda) – 1988–1989
  • Polly Ouma (Uganda) – 1989–1995
  • Timothy Ayieko (Uganda) – 1995–1996
  • Asuman Lubowa (Uganda) – 1996–1999
  • Paul Hasule (Uganda) – 1999)
  • Harrison Okagbue (Nigeria) – 1999–2001
  • Paul Hasule (Uganda) – 2001–2003
  • Pedro Pasculli (Argentina) – 2003)
  • Leo Adraa (Uganda) – 2003–2004
  • Mike Mutebi (Uganda) – 2004)
  • Mohammed Abbas (Egypt) – 2004–2006
  • Csaba László (Hungary) – 2006–2008
  • Bobby Williamson (Scotland) – 2008–2013
  • Milutin Sredojević (Serbia) – 2013–2017
  • Moses Basena (Interim, 2017)
  • Sébastien Desabre (2017–2019)
  • Abdallah Mubiru (Interim, 2019)
  • Johnathan McKinstry (1st October 2019 – Present)
John Batanudde | Kawowo Sports L-R: FUFA CEO Edgar Watson, Johnathan McKinstry (middle) and Acting FUFA President Justus Mugisha share a light moment during the press conference

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