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McKinstry: Gor Mahia confirm appointment of former Rwanda and Uganda head coach

10:48 PM IST 29/07/22
Johnathan McKinstry Gor Mahia 2022.
The 37-year-old takes charge at a time K’Ogalo are hopeful of starting the next campaign better than they did in the last two seasons

Football Kenya Federation Premier League giants Gor Mahia have confirmed the appointment of Johnathan McKinstry as their new head coach.

The Northern Ireland tactician will take over the club, which has already started its pre-season ahead of the 2022/23 Premier League season, succeeding Andreas Spiers, who left in early July.

"Coach Jonathan McKinstry is elated to join Gor Mahia. Welcome to Gor Mahia FC," the 19-time Premier League champions announced on Friday.

McKinstry faces an uphill task in his new job as Gor Mahia aim to regain their foothold in the league after failing to lift the title in the previous two seasons.

Last season, as K’Ogalo struggled for stability, Kakamega Homeboyz, and Tusker – the league winners in the last two campaigns - engaged in a tight title race that was finally decided on the last matchday.

Gor Mahia will not be taking part in any continental competition next season and thus their focus under former Uganda, Sierra Leone, and Rwanda head coach must be to end Tusker’s recent dominance.

McKinstry is an experienced tactician, having been in charge of various national teams and clubs.

In 2013, he was appointed Sierra Leone head coach and was relieved of his duties in September 2014 after he had led Sierra Leone to their highest ever Fifa world ranking position of 50th.

After his time with the West Africans, McKinstry was appointed to take charge of Rwanda in 2015 and guided Amavubi to their first away win in four years; a 1-0 victory in the opening round of the 2017 Africa Nations Cup qualifier against Mozambique.

In the same year, Rwanda ended up as Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup runners-up after they were beaten by Uganda 1-0 in the final.

In 2016, he led Amavubi to the knock-out stage of a major competition for the first time in their history when he guided them to first place in Group A of the 2016 edition of the Caf African Nations Championship and advanced to the quarter-finals.

However, he was sacked in August 2016, and in July 2017. Then Lithuania’s Kauno Zalgiris appointed him as their head coach. He left in January 2018 following the expiration of his contract.

In December 2019, he was appointed by the Federation of Uganda Football Associations to take charge of the Cranes.

After winning all six games in the Cecafa Cup, he helped Uganda win the regional tournament before he left in April 2021 after being in charge for 18 months.