Former Sierra Leone national football team coach Johnny McKinstry is the favourite to take over as head coach of the Rwanda national team, Amavubi Stars.
Rwanda Football Association (Ferwafa) president Vincent ‘Degaule’ Nzamwita confirmed this development in an exclusive interview with Times Sport on Monday.
He said, “The committee we selected to come up with a shortlist gave us four names but we have already started negotiations with Johnny McKinstry. The talks are positive so far and we hope to make an announcement before the end of this week.”
The 29-year-old McKinstry, who was named the youngest active head coach in international football two years ago, was in charge of the Leone Stars from April 2013 to September 2014 after he was fired for not taking the West African country to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
Nzamwita said, “McKinstry is a young coach and we feel that we should give him chance to coach the Amavubi. We know that he lost his job after Sierra Leone fired him for not qualifying for Afcon but really it is because they were playing all their home games away from home because of the Ebola outbreak.”
The Irishman guided Sierra Leone to their highest Fifa world ranking, 50th position and seventh in Africa in August 2014.
In an earlier interview with Times Sport recently, McKinstry said, “I strongly believe that with the right mixture of hard work, innovation and a defined, attractive playing philosophy, the coming years could be very exciting for everyone involved with football in Rwanda.
Not just with Chan 2016, but also looking forward to Afcon 2017, and the qualification process for the World Cup in 2018.”
If named head coach by the end of this week, McKinstry’s first assignment will be to prepare the Amavubi for the friendly game against Zambia in Lusaka on March 29.
He will then prepare the Rwanda U-23 side for the first round tie against Somalia in the Rio 2016 Olympic qualifiers that commence the weekend of April 24/25 in Kigali and the return leg will be played on the weekend of May 8/9.