Chris Coleman confirmed as Wales manager

 

Chris Coleman has been confirmed as the new manager of Wales.

The 41-year-old former Wales defender succeeds Gary Speed who died in November at the age of 42.

Coleman began his managerial career with Fulham in 2003, spending four years at Craven Cottage before having spells at Spanish club Real Sociedad, Coventry and Greek club Larissa, who he left earlier this month.

Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford said in a statement: "This has been a very difficult process.

"We have explored every avenue, every scenario possible. We have taken on board the thoughts and views of the backroom staff, the players and the supporters.

"All along we believe that we have been respectful and dignified and had no wish to be involved in a public debate on the appointment of Gary's successor.

"Gary was the manager of Welsh football and of course we want to continue his legacy. He was not a figurehead, he was the manager and that is why we have decided on the appointment of Chris Coleman to build on the excellent foundations put in place by Gary."

Coleman admitted it was a "bittersweet" feeling for him to take over Wales following the death of his good friend Speed.

"Whilst on one hand it's probably the proudest moment of my career to be given the opportunity to lead my country, but then to be given that opportunity because of the circumstances nobody could foresee, so it's bittersweet for me, of course it is," he said at a press conference in Cardiff.

"I was very close friends with Gary, 30 years, so it's a difficult experience for me. It's probably the most difficult press conference I've ever done or ever had to do I imagine.

"But I'm very proud to be the new manager and I'm also very sad because of the situation we find ourselves in."

The FAW will be hoping that Coleman can continue the progress that Wales had made with Speed in charge, with the Dragons winning four of their final five games during the former midfielder's tenure before his death in November.

That run of results moved Wales into the world's top 50 and earned them the tag of 2011's highest climbers in the FIFA rankings.

Coleman added: "It's not just the wins but the philosophy and style of play and I think we all agree it's refreshing and we've enjoyed it.

"It was always going to be difficult for the next Wales manager, whoever it was going to be, because of the situation. I think it's even more difficult for me because of my relationship with Gary.

"I've already spoken with the FAW members this morning and I said 'excuse me if I don't seem that excited, I am excited, I'm just a little bit subdued because of the circumstances'.

"It won't be easy but I'm looking forward to it."

He added: "There's still shock about what happened and I think we're all still grieving. We've just got to let that happen. I think the only way we can put smiles on the people's faces is try to play the best we can, continue to try to win football matches and continue to progress. But I don't kid myself, we'll probably never get over the loss of Gary."

Coleman's first job in management saw him keep Fulham in the top flight before guiding them to a ninth-place finish after being tipped for relegation.

He moved to Spain in 2007 with Sociedad but resigned after six months despite the team being on a good run due to as difference of opinion on the plans set out by the club's new president.

He then had a two-year spell as manager of Coventry, which came to an end in May 2010 after they finished 19th in the Championship, their lowest league finish in over 40 years.

When asked about his management career post-Fulham, Swansea-born Coleman said: "I think the perception of me since Fulham is that my career has been chequered.

"I'll tell you my career since Fulham: At Coventry it was chequered, yeah, I made mistakes at Coventry, not half as many mistakes as the people around the club, but I made my own mistakes also.

"So then we look at Spain and look at Greece. I left Real Sociedad in the January, two points behind automatic promotion with the youngest team in the league, so I left them in a very good position. The new president and I had a difference of opinion so I walked.

"I just left Larissa two points from the top of the league. I left there again because financially they're in a lot of trouble. Some of my players and staff had not been paid for over a year, it was not a situation I wanted to be involved in.

"Everyone can see what I did at Fulham, I was proud of what I did there.

"If you call that chequered, that's alright. I think I've had to work hard personally.

"I'm 41, not 61, I've been doing it for 10 years. I've had experience in three different countries, managed over 150 games in the Premier League. People will look at my career and say it's ok, others will say it is chequered, that's up to them.

"I'm still learning. I still want to progress and get better."

Coleman also insisted he was not viewing the Wales job as a stepping-stone to something else.

"I won't be using it as vehicle to put me somewhere else, I'm doing because it's my country. I'll be giving it everything I've got," he said.

"I'll be a very proud man if I can continue progressing the team like the way Gary was doing it."

Coleman's contract will run for the duration of Wales' qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup.

PA

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Life and Style
life
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
News
Amazon misled consumers about subscription fees, the ASA has ruled
news
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn