Wednesday 25 April 2018

Chris Coleman signs new deal to stay with Wales until 2016

Wales' manager Chris Coleman
Wales' manager Chris Coleman

Andrew Gwilym

Chris Coleman will remain in charge of Wales for their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign after signing a new two-year contract extension, the Football Association of Wales has announced.

The future of Coleman, 43, had been in doubt after the FAW chose to hold fire on a new deal following September defeats to Macedonia and Serbia during a disappointing World Cup effort.

But the Dragons finished the campaign with a win over Macedonia and an excellent draw in Belgium, despite having a squad decimated by injury, and recent talks over an extension progressed positively.

The FAW confirmed Coleman's deal at a press conference in Cardiff on Friday, where he was flanked by president Trefor Lloyd Hughes and chief executive Jonathan Ford.

The former Fulham boss said: "People have spoken about whether I would sign a new deal, but I am delighted to extend it and I am looking forward to the challenges that will come.

"I have two years of experience in the job and we will be better for it.

"I am delighted to have been given the opportunity, by Trefor and Jonathan and the FAW council, to lead my country into the next campaign and I am looking forward to it."

Coleman had also been linked with the vacancy at Crystal Palace, but claimed he was never tempted to take the job and was not approached by the Selhurst Park club.

"The honour of doing the Welsh job is bigger than with any job I will ever do," he said.

"It has been really hard at times but at other times it has been fantastic and I don't want to hand that feeling on to someone else. I want to finish what I started with these players."

Ford accepted that Coleman's new deal should probably have been signed when terms were verbally agreed back in September.

But defeats to Macedonia and Serbia that month saw the FAW later opt to wait until the end of the World Cup qualifiers before making a final decision, and put Coleman's future firmly in the spotlight.

"With hindsight the timing was never quite right," said Ford.

"We came to an agreement of wanting to move forward, we went through good negotiation and we planned on doing that somewhat sooner but then the Bale circus (the winger's world record move to Real Madrid) came to town and we had a couple of games that did not go our way.

"But in my mind we made the right decision then and we have made the right decision now. That's not really changed.

"In hindsight maybe we should have signed the contract a little earlier but we are looking forward, Euro 2016 is what we are talking about now and let's finish what we have started here."

Online Editors

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