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Football: Mancot-born Gary Speed named new Wales boss

DEESIDER Gary Speed has been unveiled as the new manager of Wales.

The 41-year-old from Mancot succeeds John Toshack after the Football Association of Wales negotiated his release from NPower Championship side Sheffield United, where he was manager for 18 games.

The former Leeds, Newcastle, Everton and Bolton midfielder was one of the finest graduates of the Flintshire Schoolboys set-up and made 85 appearances for Wales, including captaining the side, as well as making 640 top-flight appearances in England.

The former Hawarden High School pupil didn’t actually apply for the Wales job, unlike Brian Flynn, John Hartson, Chris Coleman and former Sweden and Nigeria boss Lars Lagerbäck, but was the FAW’s preferred choice.

At the Press conference to reveal his appointment Speed said: “It’s something very difficult to turn down when your country comes calling.

“I’m a very proud man at this moment to be asked to be the manager of Wales.

“I was disappointed to leave Sheffield United because I feel I had a job to do there and was fully committed but obviously when your country comes calling it’s a tough decision to make. I feel in my heart it’s the right one.”

Speed has reportedly taken a significant pay-cut to accept the job on a three-and-a-half year deal.