Rooney new Plymouth boss

Rooney new Plymouth boss

Former England captain Wayne Rooney has returned to management with Championship side Plymouth.

The PA news agency understands the 38-year-old, who left Birmingham in January after just 15 games in charge, has signed a three-year deal to become head coach at Argyle after beating off strong competition for the position.

Ex-Manchester United striker Rooney said: “Taking this role at Plymouth Argyle feels like the perfect next step in my career – and I would like to thank the chairman and board for the faith they have shown in me.

“This is an opportunity to be part of an exciting project. I look forward to helping to build a squad of players to play expansive football – and to entertain the Green Army.

“I have experienced first-hand how talented the existing group of players is here – and also the incredible atmosphere at Home Park. The club is on an exciting long-term journey, with a progressive plan in place. I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of it.

“I can’t wait for the Championship season to start in August.”

Rooney’s appointment was announced just before he appeared as a BBC pundit for the FA Cup final between Manchester City and Manchester United, causing Gary Lineker to joke that he “didn’t expect his first question to be about Plymouth Argyle for this FA Cup”.

Rooney replied: “I’m really excited. I think obviously to go in as Argyle’s new head coach, it was a fuller process with a lot of managers who were interviewed for the job, and thankfully the club thought I was the best person for the job.

“I’m excited to get started and meet the players, meet the staff, and obviously a lot of work over the next month before we start pre-season.”

Argyle director of football Neil Dewsnip knows Rooney from his time as boss of Everton’s academy, from which the striker emerged as a teenager.

Before his short stint at St Andrew’s, Rooney had cut his teeth in management at Derby and then in the United States with MLS side DC United.

Plymouth dispensed with the services of Ian Foster in April, just three months after he had replaced Steven Schumacher following his departure for Stoke.

The club were sitting just one place and a single point above the relegation zone at the time and that is exactly where they finished after Dewsnip and first-team coach Kevin Nancekivell guided them to three wins from their last six games, the last of them a 1-0 final-day victory over Hull which kept them up.

Nancekivell will remain at the club along with fellow first-team coach Simon Ireland and goalkeeping coach Darryl Flahavan, with further additions to be made in due course.

Plymouth chairman Simon Hallett said: “Throughout the interview process, Wayne showed himself to be a passionate, intelligent, and knowledgeable candidate with an appetite to prove himself and develop his managerial career.

“So much so, that he reached out to the board when we started this process and was attracted by the project at hand and showed a real plan on how to lead the football club forward.

“His ambitions and aims match ours perfectly and we feel he is the perfect candidate to provide the exciting and attacking brand of football that we all like to see and help us achieve the club’s mission.

“We look forward to another exciting season of Championship football, and I welcome him to Argyle.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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