Wayne Rooney has been appointed the Derby County manager on a permanent basis after a successful spell as caretaker at the helm. The 35-year-old has signed a two-and-a-half year contract which runs until the summer of 2023.
Rooney took charge of the team as player-manager following Phillip Cocu’s sacking in November, and has overseen three wins and four draws from nine games to rejuvenate Derby in their relegation struggle near the foot of the Championship.
Rooney’s group of supporting coaches will remain although some have been handed new roles. Liam Rosenior moves to assistant manager, Shay Given becomes first-team coach, while Justin Walker continues as first-team development coach. Academy goalkeeping coach Jason Pearcey has been promoted to the club’s first-team goalkeeping coach.
The appointment brings Rooney’s playing career to close. He played 763 club games for Everton, Manchester United, DC United and Derby County, scoring 313 goals, and won 120 England caps, scoring 53 times. Rooney remains the top goalscorer in the history of both England and Manchester United.
Rooney said: “When I first arrived back in the United Kingdom [after playing for DC United] I was completely blown away by the potential of Derby County Football Club. The stadium, training ground, the quality of the playing staff and the young players coming through and of course the fan base that has remained loyal and supportive. Despite other offers I knew instinctively Derby County was the place for me.
"To be given the opportunity to follow the likes of Brian Clough, Jim Smith, Frank Lampard and Phillip Cocu is such an honour and I can promise everyone in involved in the club and all our fans, my staff and I will leave no stone unturned in achieving the potential I have witnessed over the last 12 months of this historic football club.”
Derby’s CEO, Stephen Pearce, said: “We are delighted to confirm the appointment of Wayne Rooney as our new manager. Our recent upturn in results under Wayne was married together with some positive performances, notably the 2-0 home win over Swansea City and the 4-0 victory at Birmingham City.
“During that nine-game run we also dramatically improved their defensive record and registered five clean sheets in the process, while in the attacking third we became more effective and ruthless too. Those foundations have provided a platform for the club to build on in the second half of the season under Wayne’s guidance.”
Rooney’s first game as permanent manager will be at home to Rotherham on Saturday.
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