Sierra Leone dismiss coach McKinstry

Sierra Leone dismiss coach McKinstry
Sierra Leone's Coach Johnny Mckinstry (L)

by Staff Reporter

Thursday Sep 18, 2014. 08:23

Northern Irishman Johnny McKinstry is no longer the head coach of the Sierra Leone national football team following the termination of his contract on Wednesday afternoon.

McKinstry received an emailed letter from the Ministry of Sports informing him of the decision with poor results cited as the reason.

Despite guiding the Leone Stars to a Top 50 place in the FIFA World Rankings for the first time in their history, he started the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign with back-to-back losses to Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The 29-year-year, who took over the reins in April last year, expressed his disappointment through his official website.

"It is obviously very disappointing and frustrating news, especially as logistics are outside of my control,” he said. “I have repeatedly been clear for a number of months now on the critical importance of proper preparation time if we were to progress in the African Cup of Nations, even more so when it was announced that we were drawn against giants such as Cote d'Ivoire and Cameroon.

"Following the difficulties last week, I had requested urgent meetings with the SLFA and Ministry of Sports this week to again ask them to try to rectify the situation with regards to preparation time before the upcoming Cameroon games, as it is simply not acceptable for an Top 50 international team to be arriving in country 24 hours before a game.

"We now have considerable talent in our squad, including the new players identified by me over the last 18 months. We have also nurtured an excellent team dynamic with all the players wanting to work together.  The technical staff had also sought to maximise our tactical advantage by carefully studying our opponents before each game.

"However, talent and tactics could only ever take us so far. Access to sufficient preparation time in training camps would also be vital to ensure we were match ready and playing as one team.  The simple truth has always been that lack of preparation time would severely limit our ability to progress in AFCON 2015, and to demonstrate the full potential of the Leone Stars."

Despite the disappointment, McKinstry met with the Minister of Sport, Paul Kamara and then Chris Kamara, General Secretary of the SLFA and wishes Sierra Leone the best going forward.

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