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Uganda coach McKinstry dreams of 2022 Fifa World Cup qualification

18:56 EAT 01/10/2019
Jonny McKinstry appointed Uganda Cranes coach.
The Northern Irish coach sets his target with the Cranes after being unveiled to replace Sebastien Desabre in Kampala

New Ugandan coach Johnny McKinstry has set a target of taking the Cranes to the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar.

Speaking after he was unveiled to handle the side on Monday, the Northern Irish coach expressed his hopes for Uganda.

“Ever since I started in coaching, I've always wanted to go to a World Cup and I see the Cranes as a great opportunity. The World Cup is at the very end of my contract,” McKinstry is quoted by New Vision.

The 34-year-old, who has been the head coach of Bangladesh side Saif Sporting Club, also termed the Cranes as among the best teams in Africa.

“I'm very honoured. There is no doubt that the Uganda national team is one of the best international jobs in Africa at the moment in terms of the direction the team is going, the level of competitiveness and the ambition of Fufa," McKinstry continued.

“I am excited about the days, weeks and months ahead because of the quality of players that I will now have the opportunity to work with. [They] are a group of players that I feel we can achieve a lot with.

“Supporters of the Cranes should be very excited as well because we don't just want to continue at the level we are at but to continue to build and grow so that even more success comes the way of Uganda in the coming years.”

Talking about his knowledge of the game in Uganda, McKinstry said having coached next door in Rwanda and faced Uganda on occasions, he is well aware of the quality of players and the competitiveness of the local league.

“Their real desire and drive to achieve success are maybe similar to our West African colleagues.

“You look at the style of play of the likes of Nigeria and Ghana and their physicality and hunger for success, I look at the Ugandan league and the Cranes and see similar qualities and that is a very good starting point.”

McKinstry beat tough competition from former Cameroon head coach Hugo Broos and Belgian Luc Eymael, who were believed to have asked for huge wages for the position.

Eymael has since been unveiled as the new Black Leopards head coach in South Africa.

McKinstry started his coaching career at New York Red Bulls as a youth coach, before taking charge of the Craig Bellamy Academy in Sierra Leone, from which he grew into the country's national team coach.

He led Rwanda to the 2016 African Nations Championship (Chan) quarter-finals in Kigali before heading to Bangladesh with Sif SC acquiring his services.