Gor Mahia’s Coach Jonathan Mckinstry play against Kenya Police during FKF Premier league match at Kasarani stadium. Nov 5, 2023. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Gor Mahia head coach Johnathan McKinstry has been named new head coach of the Gambia football team.

The 38-year-old Northern Irishman, who fills the vacuum left by the Belgian Tom Saintfiet, has signed a two-year contract with one of his goals to secure the team's place at the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations.

Gambia is the fourth African national side he will have taken charge of -- Sierra Leone the first in 2013, followed by Rwanda (2015-16) and Uganda (2019-2021).

His last coaching post was from 2022-2024 with Kenyan club side Gor Mahia.

McKinstry has successfully led Kenyan giants Gor Mahia to successive league titles.

Last weekend, he helped Gor to a record extending 21st Premier League title, winning the FKF-PL with three matches to spare.

His tenure will begin with the crucial 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Seychelles and Gabon, scheduled for June 8 and June 11, respectively.

Currently, The Gambia sits fifth in Group I after defeats in their opening matches against Burundi and Ivory Coast.

Reports indicate that McKinstry was chosen from a competitive shortlist that included former England centre-back Sol Campbell and ex-Ivory Coast defender Kolo Toure.

The decision to appoint McKinstry reflects the GFF's confidence in his extensive international experience, which includes previous managerial roles with Sierra Leone, Rwanda, and Uganda.

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