McClaren takes Dutch post

Former England boss Steve McClaren has today been named as the new manager of Dutch club FC Twente.

The 47-year-old Yorkshireman has signed a two-year deal to replace Fred Rutten at the Grolsch Veste Stadium, and one of his first tasks will be to lead the club into the third Champions League qualifying round.

He is expected to be unveiled at a press conference next Tuesday.

McClaren has been out of work since leaving the England job last November following their failure to qualify for the finals of Euro 2008.

He was closely linked with the vacant post at Blackburn in the wake of Mark Hughes' move to Manchester City, but after several weeks of talks with Twente president Joop Munsterman, he has decided to relaunch his career on the continent.

McClaren said: "I am delighted to accept the offer to become the new manager of FC Twente.

"From our first meetings, I have found Mr Munsterman and his staff helpful and co-operative, and I cannot wait to get started working with them.

"It is an exciting time for the club having been so successful under Fred Rutten, and I cannot wait to meet my players and staff and get things going.

"It will be a huge challenge for me to work in the Dutch league and in the Champions League with FC Twente, but I am excited by the prospect and believe we are feeling positive for the campaign ahead.

"My message to the club's fans, supporters I have heard so much about already, is a simple one: we will do everything in our power to take the club forward."

McClaren made his name in club management at Middlesbrough after serving so successfully as Sir Alex Ferguson's number two at Manchester United.

He brought Boro the 2004 Carling Cup and two European campaigns, the second of which took them to UEFA Cup final in 2006, where they were beaten by Sevilla in Eindhoven.

But England's failure to make Euro 2008 following a 3-2 Wembley defeat by Croatia, brought a premature end to his international reign.

Like one of his predecessors, Sir Bobby Robson, who had two spells in Holland with PSV Eindhoven, he will resume his career in Dutch football and is relishing the opportunity.

McClaren said: "Sir Bobby Robson, no less, has already told me that I will love this great challenge in Holland, and that FC Twente is a fine club, a friendly club, and I will thoroughly enjoy my stay here.

"Finally, can I say that it is great to be back in club management and doing a job that I love, and it is a challenge that I relish."

McClaren's appointment is a reward for Munsterman's patience after it initially appeared he would not get his man in the wake of Rutten's departure for FC Schalke.

Munsterman said: "We have searched for a long time to find the successor for trainer Rutten, but we have not been nervous.

"It is important for FC Twente to continue the technical policy that has been so clearly defined.

"With Steve McClaren, the feeling was good from both sides.