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Johnny McKinstry

UEFA Pro License holder. Former Head Coach of Rwanda and Sierra Leone

Coach McKinstry is a UEFA Pro Coach and Professional football manager, with experience of coaching in Africa, America and Europe.

As Head Coach of the Rwanda National Football Team Coach McKinstry led Rwanda to new heights – securing Rwanda’s best ever performance in a major competition (Quarter-Finals of the 2016 CAF Nations Championship); finishing runner up in CECAFA 2015 (being named ‘Coach of the Tournament’ for his efforts).

He also secured Rwanda’s biggest ever victory in FIFA or CAF qualifying (5-0 vs Mauritius); securing Rwanda’s first competitive away win in 4 years (vs Mozambique, AFCON qualifying); and placing Rwanda second in AFCON 2017 group qualifying with 6 points (both achievements having only been once before bettered in Rwanda’s history – in 2004).

Prior to that, he was Head Coach of the Sierra Leone National Men’s Football team from April 2013 – September 2014, at that time the youngest active Head Coach in international football (at only 27 years of age).

Within just 16 months (August 2014) Coach McKinstry had led Sierra Lone to their highest ever FIFA World and African rankings – 7th in Africa and 50th in the World – both well above their lowest ever ranking of 172 in 2007, an achievement hailed by Fifa.com as “remarkable”

From Jan 2010 – Dec 2014 he set up and developed the Craig Bellamy Elite Soccer Academy – placing elite young players in Europe, Asia and North America.


Coach McKinstry is qualified at the highest level in Europe and America, holding the EUFA Pro license (Irish FA); an Academy Managers’ Licence (English FA); Premier Diploma (NSCAA); and UEFA ‘A’ & ‘B’ Coaching Licences (IFA) as well as a range of other academic and professional qualifications.

He has been named as ‘UK Grassroots Coach of the Year’ by Manchester United FC for his work within the football industry and has been recognised nationally in the field of ‘Outstanding Team Motivation’ for his role in developing and preparing athletes for competition.

Coach McKinstry has extensive experience of coaching in Europe, North America and Africa.  Over the past decade, he has led numerous teams to league and cup success.  He has also established and ensured the continuous professional development of a national network of football scouts / coaches.

External Links

Outside of the boot interview – Click Here

These football times interview – Click Here