Gambia name McKinstry as Saintfeit’s successor

May 22 – The Gambia have named Irishman Johnathan McKinstry as their new coach as World Cup qualifying resumes in June.  He succeeds Tom Saintfiet, who has switched continents to take on the managerial role with the Philippines.

A former Sierra Leone, Uganda and Rwanda manager, McKinstry will take charge of The Gambia on June 1.  

He is currently managing Gor Mahia in Kenya where he has won the national top flight. The appointment by Gambia’s National Sports Council follows after what the federation saud as a “thorough recruitment and selection process”.

McKinstry has had spells with three other African national teams. With Uganda, he won the Cecafa Cup.

In Banjul, he will have the tough task of stepping into the footsteps of Belgian Saintfiet, who guided The Scorpions to consecutive Nations Cup finals. On debut, the Gambians reached the last eight of the continental tournament in 2021 before falling to hosts Cameroon. 

McKinstry, 38, will need results immediately if The Gambia want to retain qualifying hopes after losing their opening qualifiers against Burundi and Ivory Coast. He debuts against the Seychelles on June 8 before taking on Gabon three days later.  

How much time he has been given was not released. 

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