Gor Mahia coach McKinstry nears finalizing Gambia deal as contract talks intensify

Gor Mahia coach McKinstry nears finalizing Gambia deal as contract talks intensify

Festus Chuma 13:46 - 11.05.2024

Gor Mahia's Jonathan McKinstry is close to finalizing a two-year deal as Gambia's head coach ahead of World Cup qualifiers.

Record FKF Premier League champions Gor Mahia are likely to lose head coach Jonathan McKinstry to The Gambia Football Federation (GFF),as negotiations near completion for a two-year contract that would see him take charge of the national team ahead of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

McKinstry representatives recently met with GFF President Lamin Kaba Bajo in Banjul to discuss contract details. 

Sources indicate that the agreement is close to being finalized and McKinstry would replace Tom Saintfiet, who stepped down following Gambia's elimination from the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations. 

According to Gambian newspaper The Standard, “The two men's appointments were being finalized as we went to press yesterday evening,” suggesting that Abdou Jammeh, a former Gambian international player, is also being considered for the assistant coach role.

 "The appointments would be announced anytime from now," the report adds.

The GFF aims to solidify their preparations for the qualifiers in June, with Gambia positioned in Group F alongside Kenya, Ivory Coast, Burundi, Gabon, and Seychelles.

 Gambia will host Seychelles on June 3 before traveling to Gabon for a June 10 fixture in the third and fourth matches of the qualification rounds.

McKinstry’s appointment is poised to bring stability to Gambia’s national team, leveraging his extensive international experience. 

During his tenure at Gor Mahia, which began in July 2022 McKinstry navigated significant challenges including a FIFA transfer ban and a thin squad.

Before joining Gor Mahia, McKinstry served as the head coach of Uganda's national team, achieving a commendable 67% win rate from 18 games and steering the Cranes to victory in the 2019 CECAFA Challenge Cup. 

His coaching journey also includes stints with Sierra Leone, Rwanda, and Bangladesh Premier League club Saif SC.

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