McKinstry fires back at Harambee Stars coach Firat's claims of league stagnation

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FKFPL McKinstry fires back at Harambee Stars coach Firat's claims of league stagnation

Festus Chuma 05:34 - 08.03.2024

Gor Mahia coach Johnathan McKinstry has responded to Engin Firat's critique on FKF Premier League.

Gor Mahia head coach Johnathan McKinstry has offered a robust response to recent critiques by Harambee Stars head coach Engin Firat regarding the state of the Football Kenya Federation Premier League (FKFPL).

In a conversation that has stirred the local football scene, Firat, speaking on Radio 47, pointed out stagnation within the Kenyan football league, contrasting it with the growth observed in the Tanzanian Mainland Premier League.

According to Firat, the allure of the Tanzanian league for top regional talents signifies a drop in the competitive edge and standards of the FKFPL, once considered among the region's best.

McKinstry, however, presented a different perspective in his reply, emphasizing a broader, more constructive outlook on football development not just in Kenya but across similar leagues worldwide.

"Look, the continent of Africa is my second home. You know, I have lived here, of the last 13 years, I've lived on the continent for 10 of them in different parts. Here in Kenya, I've been very lucky to live here for the last almost two years now," McKinstry shared on Gor TV.

The Northern Irish coach pointed out that the journey towards excellence is a shared path for most leagues around the world, save for the elite few.

"Leagues here, all leagues, unless you're the Bundesliga or the English Premier League or La Liga or maybe Serie A, these leagues don't have much improvement. They're already at the top of the world. But other than that, there's another 205 leagues in the world that can improve," McKinstry remarked, framing the FKFPL's challenges within a global context.

The Gor Mahia coach emphasized the importance of focusing on strengths and developing a distinctive national style of play, rather than importing foreign methodologies.

"It's about finding what a national game looks like and building on that," McKinstry stated, highlighting his philosophy of adapting and enhancing local talent and strategies.

Throughout his tenure in various African nations, including Rwanda, Uganda, and Sierra Leone, McKinstry has demonstrated a successful track record, achieving significant victories and progress in international competitions.

"I think I've had a lot of success with national teams in the past, you know, Rwanda, Uganda, Sierra Leone and all of them we posted sort of 50-60% winning records. We got to big tournaments, we won tournaments, we got to the knockout stages of big tournaments and all of that was about working with what we had and trying to add on top of it as opposed to looking for the problems," he recounted, showcasing his achievements and the effectiveness of his approach.

In contrast, Firat also brought up the failed transfer of Gor Mahia striker Benson Omala to JS Saoura, a move that fizzled out during the last mini-transfer window.

Firat criticized the financial aspect of the deal, suggesting that it fell short of the earnings top players deserve, highlighting the economic challenges facing Kenyan footballers.

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