Football governing body, Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) has Monday morning unveiled former Rwanda national football team Coach, Jonathan McKinstry as new Uganda Cranes Coach.
McKinstry, 34, an Irish replaces Abdallah Mubiru, Livingstone Mbabazi and Sadiq Wasswa who have been handling the team on an interim basis since July when coach Sebastien Desabre terminated his contract to join Egyptian Club, Pyramids FC.
At the appointment of the trio in July, FUFA President Moses Magogo said: “We have appointed these people on interim basis. But if they want to apply for the role of Uganda Cranes coach they can go on. We have opened applications for both Ugandans and non-Ugandans to take up that position of being Cranes Coach.”
While unveiling him to the press at FUFA House in Mengo on Monday, FUFA CEO, Edgar Watson explained that the body received 137 applicants for the job of the Head Coach from July 27 to August 17 who were assessed and evaluated by a panel appointed by FUFA.
“This panel sat on September 16-18 to assess the 137 applicants after which recommendations were made to FUFA Executive to be able to choose the successful candidate. Last Friday on September 27, the FUFA Executive sat and assessed the recommendations and I am glad to inform you that Jonathan McKinstry was selected,” said Edgar Watson.
He explained that during the selection, FUFA considered the age range of the Coach, his potential to fit in FUFA’s vision of Uganda becoming the best footballing nation in Africa on and off the pitch.
The vetting team also assessed him on his ability to fit in the Ugandan players’ style of play as well as awareness of the culture within how Ugandans live.
Watson said the football body needed a resident coach who will stay in the country and doesn’t only come in to handle the national team.
McKinstry has been appointed on a 3-year contract starting tomorrow October 1 and will be assisted by the three interim coaches who have been handling the team led by Abdallah mubiru.
Born on July 16, 1985 McKinstry is a Northern Irish UEFA Pro licensed football manager and until this morning, he has been the Head Coach of Bangladesh Football Premier League team Saif SC.
He previously managed the Rwanda and Sierra Leone national football teams. He has also coached clubs in Northern Ireland, England, USA, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Lithuania.
At 27 years of age, he was appointed as the manager of Sierra Leone on April 11, 2013 following the resignation of Swedish coach Lars-Olof Mattsson, becoming the youngest active international head coach in world football. He guided the team through the 2015 CAF Nations Cup qualifiers.
He was appointed new Coach of Amavubi stars of Rwanda in March 2015 and in December the same year, he guided them to finish as Runners-up in the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup 2015, defeating hosts Ethiopia, reigning champions Kenya and previous tournament runners-up Sudan en route the final
They only lost to Uganda 1-0 in the final game. McKinstry was named as Coach of the Tournament by the tournament sponsors DSTV.