By Alex Balimwikungu
Kenyan giants Gor Mahia have appointed former Uganda Cranes tactician Johnathan Mckinstry as their new head coach.
The club confirmed Mckinstry on a two-year deal on Friday.
Mckinstry returns to the touchline for the first time since he patted ways with Uganda in April 2021.
He replaces Andreas Spiers who left Gor Mahia earlier this month
The Northern Irishman has also had stints with Sierra Leone and Rwanda before winning 2019 CECAFA Championship with the Cranes.
He has also coached Said Sporting Club in Bangladesh and Lithuania’s FK Kauno Zalgris.
We welcome him with a lot of enthusiasm and hope he will help us and bring more success,” stated chairman Rachier.
McKinstry is familiar with East Africa region as he previously managed the national football teams of neighbours Uganda between 2019 and 2021 and Rwanda in 2015 where he guided the Amavubi to a famous win against Mozambique.
The new tactician says he is pleases to be at Gor Mahia and targets to help the club to return to top of the table as a short term target as he works on long term plans.
“I am pleased to be here… Gor Mahia is one of the most storied clubs and my short term target target is to help the club go back to the top of the table. The last two years have been no doubt a disappointment for all the supporters and stakeholders and my number one priority is to improve the players we have, improve their performance on the field and I believe if we do that we will be back to the top,” noted coach McKinstry.
Apart from the three national teams, the 37-year-old McKinstry has also had coaching stints at Saif SC of Bangladesh and Kauno Zalgiris of Luthuania and he feels no pressure being at Gor Mahia as the head coach.
With the new season set to begin next month amid controversies on who will manage the league, McKinstry will have to work with the current Gor Mahia squad without any more new signing as the club is serving a Fifa ban on transfers.