Ex-Uganda Cranes players speak out on coach McKinstry’s suspension

Ex-Uganda Cranes players speak out on coach McKinstry’s suspension
Uganda Cranes head coach Jonathan McKinstry giving instructions to Uganda Cranes players

Kampala, Uganda | URN | Ex-Uganda Cranes players have weighed in on the suspension of the national football team head coach Johnathan McKinstry.

Early this week, the Federation of Uganda Football Association asked the Irish tactician to set aside from his duties for a month effective March 2, 2021.

The decision stemmed from the Uganda Cranes poor performance in its double fixture against South Sudan where Uganda lost in the second leg. The situation worsened when Uganda Cranes failed to register a single win in the African Nations Championship (CHAN) and lost 5:2 to Morocco in the last game.

The Northern Irishman who took charge of the Uganda Cranes in September 2019, started his journey with a comfortable win over Ethiopia in a friendly game.

He however registered his first test in the Afcon qualifiers against Burkina Faso which ended in a goalless draw. McKinstry dominated the CECAFA championship and scooped the tournament unbeaten with six wins.

In total, the Irishman has been in charge of the Cranes for 14 games. He has won nine, lost three and drawn two. Ex-international and football administrator Mujib Kasule says that he was not surprised with FUFA’s decision because of the last poor performance by the team.

He says the coach made obvious errors in the last AFCON fixture against South Sudan that delayed Uganda’s qualification for AFCON finals.

McKinstry made tactical changes in the return leg against South Sudan where he opted for youngsters Karim Watambala and Alan Okello over experienced players like Mike Azira and Emmanuel Okwi.

Former Uganda Cranes player and KCC FC legend Jackson Mayanja says that he wasn’t also surprised with McKinstry’s suspension.

He explains that a coach who fails to deliver results will always be in trouble.

FUFA replaced McKinstry with assistant Abdallah Mubiru who will be deputized by Livingstone Mbabazi and Fred Kajoba. Mujib Kasule welcomed the decision saying this is the time for FUFA to start trusting local coaches, saying they are more knowledgeable on Ugandan players.

Andy Lule, another ex-international says the changes made by FUFA might be good for the players.

This is not the first time Abdallah Mubiru is taking charge of the Uganda Cranes as interim head coach. Prior to the unveiling of McKinstry, FUFA assigned Mubiru caretaker role of the team. During his tenure as interim coach, Mubiru managed seven games, won four and drew 3.

What next for FUFA and McKinstry?

Johnathan McKinstry who was unveiled in September 2019 was handed a three-year contract effective Oct 1st, 2019. This means his contact runs up to October 2022. The Federation will have no option but to compensate him should they opt to terminate his contract.

34-year-old McKinstry named new Uganda Cranes coach
Jonathan Mckinstry (center) is handed a Cranes Jersey by FUFA President Justus Mugisha (second-right) at FUFA House in Mengo on September 30, 2019. (COURTESY PHOTO/FUFA)

McKinstry’s games as Uganda Cranes boss

  • Uganda 1-0 Ethiopia (Friendly)
  • Burkina Faso 0-0 Uganda (AFCON Qualifiers)
  • Uganda 2-0 Malawi (AFCON Qualifiers)
  • Uganda 2-1 Burundi (CECAFA)
  • Somalia 0-2 Uganda (CECAFA)
  • Eritrea 0-2 Uganda (CECAFA)
  • Uganda 1-4 Djibouti (CECAFA)
  • Uganda 1-0 Tanzania (CECAFA)
  • Uganda 3-0 Eritrea (CECAFA)
  • Uganda 1-0 South Sudan (AFCON Qualifiers )
  • South Sudan 1-0 Uganda (AFCON Qualifiers)
  • Rwanda 0-0 Uganda (CHAN)
  • Uganda 1-2 Togo (CHAN)
  • Uganda 2-5 Morocco (CHAN)

Read Also: AFCON Qualifiers: Uganda Cranes provisional squad unveiled

Who is Jonathan Mckinstry?

McKinstryis a Northern Irish UEFA Pro licensed football manager.

Previously McKinstry managed Bangladesh side Saif SC, Rwanda national team, Sierra Leone national team, and Kauno Zalgris in the A Lyga. Whilst in charge of Sierra Leone, McKinstry was the youngest international manager in the world at 27 years old.

However, his footballing career remains a mystery.

Uganda Cranes Coaches since 1969

– Burkhard Pape – 1969-1972
– David Otti – 1973-1974
– Westerhoff Otto – 1974-1975
– Peter Okee – 1976-1981, 1983
– Bidandi Ssali- 1982
– George Mukasa – 1984-1985
– Barnabas Mwesigwa – 1986-1988
– Robert Kiberu – 1988-1989
– Polly Ouma – 1989-1995
– Timothy Ayieko – 1995-1996
– Asuman Lubowa – 1996-1999
– Paul Hasule – 1999
– Harrison Okagbue 1999-2001
– Paul Hasule- 2001-2003
– Pedro Pasculi – 2003
– Leo Adraa – 2003-2004
– Mike Mutebi – 2004
– Mohammood Abbas – 2004-2006
– Laszlo Csaba- 2006-2008
– Bobby William- 2008-2013
– Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic – 2013-2017
– Moses Basena –August 2017 – 27th December 2017
– Sébastien Desabre – 28th December 2017 – 6th July 2019
– Abdallah Mubiru – 10th July 2019 (Interim)

– Jonathan Mckinstry – September 2019 – ………………………………