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Home » Sport » Football

Speed confirmed as Wales boss

The Football Association of Wales have confirmed Gary Speed as the new manager of the national team.

The 41-year-old was given permission by Sheffield United to speak to the FAW on Monday after they identified him as their preferred successor to John Toshack.

Speed was unveiled at a 2pm press conference at the Vale of Glamorgan hotel.

The post had been vacant since Toshack's departure on September 9, with Chris Coleman, John Hartson, Brian Flynn and former Sweden national manager Lars Lagerback all interviewed last week.

But after learning of Speed's interest in the position, despite his limited managerial experience, the FAW moved swiftly for their former, highly-respected captain who holds a record number of caps for an outfield player with 85.

The FAW's decision to go for the 41-year-old is still a surprise to an extent, due to the fact Speed has struggled in his first managerial role with the Blades.

That has been the case despite a superb playing career spanning 20 years with Leeds, Everton, Newcastle, Bolton and United during which time Speed became the first player to reach 500 Premier League appearances.

After sacking Kevin Blackwell after just three games this season, the Blades board appointed from within, opting for Speed who had only recently taken up a coaching role after deciding to end his playing career.

But under Speed's leadership United have continued to struggle as they have lost half of his 18 matches in charge, leaving them one point and two places above the npower Championship relegation zone.

Yet the FAW see Speed as the man to revive their fortunes as Wales currently languish at the bottom of their Euro 2012 qualifying group after a run of three straight defeats.


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