McClaren named as new England manager

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The Independent Football

Steve McClaren has been confirmed as the next England head coach and will take up his new role from August 1 on a four-year contract.

The appointment of the Middlesbrough manager was unanimously agreed by today's FA board meeting.

McClaren said: "This is the biggest honour that any coach can have, and is obviously the highlight of my career. It's a massive challenge and one that I welcome. I have hugely enjoyed my time at Middlesbrough and am very grateful to the club.

"However, this was an opportunity I couldn't refuse. My immediate priority is next week's UEFA Cup final with Boro, and then working with Sven and his coaching team to achieve success in Germany this summer, before I turn my thoughts to the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign."

McClaren is Sven-Goran Eriksson's assistant coach and was part of the coaching team at the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004. He will also be in Germany with England this summer.

The announcement brings an end to a long and painful saga during which the FA initially offered the job to Luiz Felipe Scolari only for the Brazilian to turn them down.

FA chief executive Brian Barwick told "I'm delighted to be able to announce Steve's appointment today.

"He has shown himself to be a top-class coach for both country and club, leading Middlesbrough to the most successful period in the club's history. He is the only current English manager in the Premiership to have won a major trophy.

"Steve is highly respected within the game, has a wealth of international experience and ensures continuity within the England team set-up.

"I would also like to express my gratitude to Middlesbrough FC, and the other candidates and clubs involved, for their co-operation throughout this process."

Eriksson said he was looking forward to working with McClaren in Germany.

He said: "I'm obviously very pleased for Steve, but also for the England team. I have worked closely with Steve ever since I came to England and know how good a coach he is.

"He is well-liked and well-respected by the players and staff. I have no doubt that he has all the credentials to be very successful in the job and wish him all the best.

"I said that I didn't want the next England coach to be with the team at the World Cup, unless he was already involved in the set-up. Steve is a key part of my coaching staff and I'm delighted to have him with us in Germany."

Sir Trevor Brooking, the FA's director of football development, said 45-year-old McClaren would also play an important part in bringing through young coaches.

Brooking said: "Steve's appointment is great news for England and also for the English game long-term, underlining confidence in English coaching.

"His first priority will be success with the England senior team, but as a holder of the UEFA Pro Licence he will also play an integral part in the FA's coach development programme.

"He has shown at Middlesbrough that he is innovative and committed to bringing through talented young English players and giving them their chance at the top level."