New Delhi: Former Manchester Untied winger Ryan Giggs has been appointed as the new manager of Wales, the Football Association of Wales (FAW) announced on Monday.
The 44 year-old replaced Chris Coleman at the helm of affairs after the latter left the national team to join English Championship club Sunderland. The FAW took to social media site Twitter, to announce his appointment with a short video of the coach holding a Wales shirt, that had the name ‘Giggs’ written on it.
“I am so proud to have been given the honour of managing the national team,” said the former Wales international also adding, “The challenges that we have ahead of us with the Nations League and qualification for Uefa Euro 2020 excite me a great deal. I can’t wait to start working with the players as we prepare for those crucial games later in the year.”
It will be Giggs’ first permanent managerial post as a full time coach. He had earlier worked as an interim player-manager for Manchester United in the 2013-14 seaso, a club he had represented 963 times. He coached them for four games that ended with a 1-1 draw to Southampton. The following season he retired as a player after being appointed as an assistant to Dutchman Louis Van Gall who replaced David Moyes, sacked after nine months in charge.
Giggs’ former teamamte Craig Bellamy and Mark Bowen along with Osian Roberts, Coleman’s former assistant who is also the FAW’s technical director were all interviewed for the job but the former United academy graduate was preferred over others.
FAW chief executive Jonathan Ford later said: “With his vast amount of experience having played, coached and managed the biggest club in the world, we are confident of a successful future for our national team,” as quoted by BBC.
The 2018 China Cup starting March 22 will be the winger’s first assignment who had won a staggering 34 trophies as a player. It will however not be an easy task for him to replicate Coleman’s achievement, who etched his name into glory books after leading Wales to the 2016 Euro semi-finals, their only participation in a FIFA tournament since the World Cup quarter-finals loss to Brazil in 1958.