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
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