The National Sports Council, under the Ministry of Youth and Sports, has appointed Johnathan McKinstry as the national team coach of the senior national football team for a period of two years. 

The unveiling and signing ceremony was held at the paradise suits hotel, attended by the Hon Minister of Youth and Sports, President of the Gambia Football Federation, Ag. Executive Director of National Sports Council and other officials.

Speaking earlier, Minister Badjie, assured necessary support for the coach to do the needful, noting that expectations will be higher based on reasons. 

“The support will be there from us as a ministry, and as government, we will give you free hand to do what you what you think is best in delivering us to Promised Land. Expectations are higher now than before. The deliverables, too, are higher than before. The reason is that we have been to AFCON in 2021 and 2023. It is a saying that when bars are raised too high, those that are coming have a bigger task. This is the task the coach has,” Hon. Badjie outlined. 

Johnathan McKinstry, the head coach of The Gambia senior national football team, said cohesiveness is paramount to success in any endeavor. 

“The only way we can succeed is togetherness. In my time in the game, I have been in many countries with many teams, many Federations, and often problem arises when there is no unity, when there is no togetherness. And so to see how closely the government of the Gambia, the National Sports Council, the Ministry, and The Gambia Football Federation are coming together for the future success of football in this country gives me huge hope that they’re not just working for the next two years, but hopefully many years beyond that as well,” McKinstry disclosed his observation.

Johnathan McKinstry added: “For me, there is only one direction we are going, and that is forward. That is not just as a nation. It is as a federation, government, as a sports council, it’s as a team in terms of our mentality about the game, we want to go forward. Every step we want to take is forward. Every level that we want to achieve is forward. The only way we can achieve that is to do it together.”

President of GFF, Lamin Kabba Bajo and Lamin Jassey assured the new coach every support in order to take the country to another level in the world of football.

The 38-year Irish had a winning record of 51% across three international head coaching roles. McKinstry has previously coached Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Uganda respectively.

McKinstry’s first assignment will be against Seychelles in Morocco on June 08th in the World Cup qualifiers.