Serra Leone appoints former Lurgan Town coach

Johnny McKinstry.  Copyright:  Johnny McKinstry/Twitter.
Johnny McKinstry. Copyright: Johnny McKinstry/Twitter.

FORMER Lurgan Town coach Johnny McKinstry has been installed as caretaker coach of Sierra Leone.

McKinstry’s appointment came after a meeting between the Sierra Leone FA and officials from the sports ministry.

He replaces Sweden’s Lars Olof Mattsson who resigned a few weeks ago.

McKinstry, who was first team coach at Lurgan Town between December 2007 and Mar 2008, has no previous coaching experience in Africa. He will be in charge of the Leone Stars’ remaining 2014 World Cup qualifiers.

According to the Sierra Leone FA, he will be considered for the job on a permanent basis if he does well against Tunisia, Cape Verde and Equatorial Guinea.

Acting director of sports Alphan Coker said: “We decided to appoint McKinstry because he has a good CV and understands Sierra Leone football as he’s been in the country for a while now. We believe he’s a good choice.”

McKinstry has been working at the Craig Bellamy Foundation which runs a football academy in Freetown.

He holds a Uefa ‘A’ coaching licence and has worked for the Irish FA, English Premier League club Newcastle United and the Major League Soccer team New York Red Bulls.

McKinstry will be assisted by former Sierra Leonean international John Keister and goalkeeping coach Tamba Moses.