McKinstry signed a two-year deal in March. (Courtesy)

McKinstry signed a two-year deal in March. (Courtesy)

Amavubi?s problems are many, actually quite a lot that we should never expect them to be solved by one individual, and that is whoever is in charge as head coach.

This time, that person is Johnny McKinstry. Poor lad, I feel sorry for him because his reign is highly likely to end badly as it has been with all his predecessors.

We can hire and fire coaches at will or even employ Jose Mourinho as the Amavubi Stars coach, but the team will never succeed before attaining sustainable stability.

Rwandans love football and more importantly their national team, especially if and when it?s doing well and they cannot afford to see the team in a rebuilding process every year if they are to see success they have craved for so long.

So, before we shout our heads off and ask for the coach?s head as soon the team loses the next one or two games and it could even be three games, we need to calm down and consider a few factors that lead to success, and then ask ourselves, do we have the right ingredients for the team to succeed?

Yes, we may have the money, the passion, the desire to do well and we can also dare to dream big, but the one factor, which is even more important in the equation, is stability?Amavubi will never be where we all want it to be unless there is stability, mainly with the coaches.

We should stop this business of hiring coaches on one or two years and when they fail to satisfy our hopes and expectations, we dump them and then employ another coach and when the gamble doesn?t pay, we again do the same.

Teams that have been successful hold on to coaches for a considerable period ? possibly four to five or even six years because they realize no coach can stamp his authority on the team/players in just one year or even two.

Without going into details of all former Amavubi coaches, lets zero our focus on the man in charge of the team at the minute?McKinstry only took over in March, which means he has been in charge for less than four months yet some people in their wisdom are already looking out for his weaknesses and possible angles from which to criticize him!


In most jobs, people are given a probation period, which is mostly three months, and in my opinion McKinstry is no different.

FERWAFA and the Ministry of Sports and Culture may not have given him trial period but technically, his three months are over and it?s time to start showing that he is the right man for the job.

I don?t want to sound like am his apologist well in advance in case he fails to deliver the goods, but I think the best thing would be for everyone to give him full support and desist from just looking for loopholes for criticism just for the sake of it.

The youthful Irishman, who is still only 29 years old and very much in the morning end of his coaching career, could be the right man to bring stability to Amavubi?he is young, well qualified and appears to love the challenge on his hands.

Young team

He may lack the experience in the job, but you can?t get experience without being in the job and I think that because he is working with a relatively young team and seems to have something to prove to the world, especially him being the youngest international coach in Africa and possibly beyond, we need to give a chance to stay beyond the initial two years he signed.

We shouldn?t ignore the fact that majority of the current Amavubi players are graduates of the U-17 team that played at the 2011 FIFA World Cup in Mexico, which makes them so inexperienced and lack the maturity required to compete favourably against the best teams on the continent.

Whether Rwanda wins, draws or loses their AFCON 2017 qualifier, Group H opener against Mozambique today, or even go on to fail to qualify for the final tournament in Gabon, we shouldn?t lose track of the bigger picture, and that is stability. This is something the team has not had for so long and which could be the missing ingredient to bring success we all crave.

For once, FERWAFA and their financers (sports ministry) as well the media and fans, need to look at this current team not as a finished article that is ripe to deliver success but rather as a good foundation on which to build stability for future success, hopefully.

Hamza Nkuutu, The New Times


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