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Irishman John Mckinstry takes over Leone Stars

Irishman John Mckinstry takes over Leone Stars

An unknown Irishman Johnny McKinstry (in photo) has been named coach of Leone Stars by the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) replacing the Swede Lars Olof Mattsson who resigned his post few weeks ago.

His appointment came after a meeting between the officials of the SLFA and the Country Sports ministry on Wednesday.

The Public Relations Officer of the SLFA Sorie Ibrahim Sesay told sierraleonefootball.com that McKinstry will only be in charge of Leone Stars’ remaining 2014 World Cup qualifying matches but will be considered to stay on if he does well.

His first match in charge will be against Tunisia’s Carthage Eagles in Freetown in June follow by Cape Verde in Praia and Equatorial Guinea at home.

The Acting Director of Sports in the Sports ministry Alphan Coker said: “We decided to appoint Coach McKinstry because he has a good CV and he understands Sierra Leone football as he has been in the country for a while now”.

He added: We believe he’s a good choice.”

But the Irishman is not an established coach as this will be his first time he’s taking over a national side.

Coach McKinstry has refused to comment on his new appointment saying that he’s yet to be officially been informed.

“I can’t comment because I’m yet to be officially informed about my appointment.  I’ll give my reaction when I have official discussions with the officials concerned,” Coach McKinstry told sierraleonefootball.com.

Coach McKinstry has been in Sierra Leone for over two years now working for the Craig Bellamy Foundation which runs a football academy in the country.

He holds a UEFA ‘A’ Coaching Licence and  has worked for the Irish FA, English Premier League club Newcastle United FC and the USA Major League Soccer team New York Red Bulls.

Coach McKinstry will be assisted by former Sierra Leonean internationals John Keister and goal keeper coach Tamba Moses.

By Mohamed Fajah Barrie in Freetown

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