Johnathan McKinstry

National Team Head Coach

  • Date Joined: 30th August 2021
Johnathan McKinstry is a UEFA Pro Licence Coach and Professional football manager. With experience of coaching in Asia, Europe, North America and Africa, he has a track record of consistently raising performance at elite level - by developing teams, players and staff.

He has extensive experience of coaching in Europe, North America and Africa, working with both national teams and top tier club teams. Over the past decade he has led numerous teams to success.
Johnathan McKinstry was most recently Head Coach of the Uganda National Team.

By December 2019, after only 3 months in charge, Uganda had won CECAFA Challenge Cup 2019; were sitting top of their AFCON qualification group; and had secured 9 wins and 1 draw from 10 games. As of March 2021, Johnathan had overseen 18 matches for Uganda - winning 12 (67%), drawing 3 (17%) and losing 3 (17%); scoring 30 goals and conceding 11.

As Head Coach of the Rwanda National Football Team McKinstry led Rwanda to new heights - securing Rwanda’s best ever performance in a major competition (Quarter-Finals of the 2016 CAF Nations Championship), the first time in their history the team had progressed to the knock out stages of a major tournament; and finishing runner up in CECAFA Challenge Cup 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); secured Rwanda’s first competitive away win in 4 years (vs Mozambique, AFCON qualifying); and placed 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) McKinstry had led Sierra Lone to their highest ever FIFA World and African rankings - 7th in Africa and 50th in the World, an achievement hailed by Fifa.com as "remarkable". He recorded an undefeated home record throughout role as Head Coach; and guided the team to the final qualifying stages of the 2015 CAF Nations Cup, progressing through two knockout qualification rounds.

In addition to his work with national teams, McKinstry has coached teams in the top leagues of Lithuania and Bangladesh. He has established football academies, development pathways and has also established and ensured the continuous professional development of an international network of football scouts / coaches.

As Head Coach of the SAIF Sporting Club (2019), McKinstry led the team to set 5 new Club Records in his 1st season with club (most wins as a Head Coach in Club History; most points gained in a Premier League season; most wins in a Premier League season; most goals in a Premier League season; and best performance in both the BFF Federation Cup (FA Cup) and BFF Independence Cup (League Cup) Tournaments - reaching the quarter-finals in both). At the point he departed to take up his role as Head Coach of the Uganda National Team he had a win percentage of 60% with 85% of all games undefeated.

Johnathan’s role at FK Kauno Zalgiris (2017) centred on providing senior management of the club with guidance and advice on establishing strong foundations and robust development structures and pathways to allow the newly established football club to develop effectively in the coming years. During his time there he Identified key areas of focus for the short-, medium- & long-term development of the football club including, but not limited to internal club structures, talent identification and recruitment (players and staff), and training methodology.

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

He is also academically qualified in a number of disciplines. He holds a Certificate in High Impact Leadership from the University of Cambridge (2020), a Diploma in Football Management from the LMA/Liverpool University (2019), a Post Graduate Certificate in Performance Coaching (2015) and a Bachelor of Science (BSc) Honours in Sport Science (2007)

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.
Johnathan McKinstry

Qualifications/Accreditation

  • : Cert: High Impact Leadership


    Cert: High Impact Leadership
    2020

  • League Managers Association: Diploma in Management Course

    League Managers Association
    Diploma in Management Course
    2019

  • Coerver Coaching: Youth Diploma 2

    Coerver Coaching
    Youth Diploma 2
    2017

  • UEFA: Pro Licence

    UEFA
    Pro Licence
    2016

  • : PG Cert: Performance Coaching


    PG Cert: Performance Coaching
    2015

  • The Football Association: Academy Managers’ Licence

    The Football Association
    Academy Managers’ Licence
    2013

  • Coerver Coaching: Youth Diploma 1

    Coerver Coaching
    Youth Diploma 1
    2012

  • National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA): Premier Diploma

    National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)
    Premier Diploma
    2011

  • National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA): National Advanced Diploma

    National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)
    National Advanced Diploma
    2009

  • UEFA: A Licence

    UEFA
    A Licence
    2009

  • National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA): National Youth Diploma

    National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)
    National Youth Diploma
    2008

  • National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA): National Goalkeeper Diploma

    National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)
    National Goalkeeper Diploma
    2008

  • : BSc (HONS) Applied Sport Science with Coaching


    BSc (HONS) Applied Sport Science with Coaching
    2007

  • UEFA: B Licence

    UEFA
    B Licence
    2003

Career History

  • Uganda FA

    Uganda FA
    Head Coach
    2019 – 2021

  • SAIF Sporting Club

    SAIF Sporting Club
    Head Coach
    2018 – 2019

  • FK Kauno Zalgiris

    FK Kauno Zalgiris
    Head Coach
    2017 – 2017

  • Rwanda FA

    Rwanda FA
    Head Coach
    2015 – 2016

  • Sierra Leone FA

    Sierra Leone FA
    Head Coach
    2013 – 2014

  • Craig Bellamy Foundation

    Craig Bellamy Foundation
    Academy Manager
    2010 – 2014

  • New York Red Bulls

    New York Red Bulls
    Pre-Academy Coach
    2007 – 2009

  • Newcastle United Foundation

    Newcastle United Foundation
    Player Development Coach
    2004 – 2006

Key Achievements

  • Qualified for 2020 CAF African Nations Championship - Head Coach of Uganda
  • CECAFA Cup 2019 Winners – Head Coach of Uganda
  • Qualified for Quarter Finals of 2016 CAF African Nations Championship - Head Coach of Rwanda
  • CECAFA Cup 2015 Runner-Up - Head Coach of Rwanda
  • CECAFA Cup 2015 ‘Coach of the Tournament’ – Head Coach of Rwanda who finished 2nd
  • Sport NI High Performance Coach of the Year nominee 2014
  • FIFA World Ranking record – Record position for Sierra Leone (50th ) - 2014
  • Lucozade Sport Coach of the Year runner-up – Outstanding Team Motivation category 2007
  • UK Grassroots Coach of the Year – awarded by Manchester United 2006

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