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Interview with Johnny McKinstry: Leaving New York For a West African Fishing Village

Today I'm joined by Sporting SAIF manager Johnny McKinstry.

McKinstry has had a fascinating journey in coaching. He started his coaching career as a teenager in his home country of Northern Ireland before becoming a youth coach at New York Red Bulls.


Following a few fruitful years there, he became technical director of Craig Bellamy's Foundation academy in Sierra Leone at the ripe age of 23. After a little over three years there he was appointed the National Team manager of Sierra Leone leading them into the top-50 of the FIFA rankings- he highest ever for the country.


He then went on to coach the Rwanda national team, leading them to the quarter-finals in the 2016 Africa Cup of Nations. Next was a brief stint in Lithuania and last November he became the manager of Sporting SAIF which is a club in Bangladesh. He's done all that and he's only 33 years old.


In this episode we'll be discuss:

-why he left NY Red Bulls to work in Sierra Leone

-the difficulty in managing expectations as a coach

-why his team in Bangladesh practices at 7 am

-the time Yaya Toure played the role of custom's official before a game


If you want to reach out to Johnny, his Twitter handle is @johnnymckinstry


Listen Here


Timeline:

7:40 Comparing Bangladesh and Sierra Leone

20:15 The logistical problems in African football

26:15 Managing expectations as a coach

34:26 Leaving New York for Sierra Leone

41:58 Lessons from his football 'masters'

48:28 Running an Academy at 23 years old

56:02 Finding the African 'David Silva'

1:04:10 Coaching in a country following a civil war

1:09:30 Football is Football

1:13:32 The most unusual practice in Africa

1:19:40 How he'd change football

1:25:35 Wisdom for young coaches

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