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Last Updated: Monday, 6 December, 2004, 17:19 GMT
Flynn relishing Wales youth role
BRIAN FLYNN FACTFILE
Brian Flynn
Born: Port Talbot, 12/10/55
Clubs: Burnley, Leeds, Cardiff, Wrexham
International caps: 66
Managerial positions: Wrexham, Swansea, Wales U21
Brian Flynn says he has been given a "mouth-watering" opportunity to help develop Wales' best young footballers.

The former Wrexham and Swansea manager has taken charge of Wales' teams from under-17 to under-21 level.

Swansea youth coach Alan Curtis will be one of Flynn's assistant, with another coach to be appointed in due course.

"This is an absolutely fantastic opportunity to develop players for my country. There is no greater honour than to do that," said Flynn.

Flynn's title will be the national intermediate teams manager, a new role created by new Wales manager John Toshack.

Former Wales, Liverpool and Wrexham full-back Joey Jones had been pencilled in as Flynn's other part-time assistant, but he says his fear of flying forced him to turn down the offer.

"I had a long, serious think about it because I was flattered that John Toshack and Brian Flynn wanted me with them," Jones told BBC Wales Sport.

"But I didn't think I could give 100% if I didn't go to away games."

The revamped the youth structure means some of the most experienced and respected names in Welsh football have been shown the door by Toshack.

Ian Rush and Mark Aizlewood were in charge of the under-17s, Kevin Ratcliffe ran the under-19s with Neville Southall - who resigned last week - and Glyn Hodges was the under-21 manager.

I will be judged on producing players for the national team, but I want to get results along the way
Wales youth manager Brian Flynn
Flynn, who previously managed the under-21 during his 12-year managerial stint at Wrexham between 1989 and 2001, had applied for the senior Wales manager's job after Mark Hughes' resignation in October.

He said the new role was no "consolation" for being overlooked by the Football Association of Wales, but Flynn insisted he was thrilled to be back in the Wales set-up.

"When you're a manager you get set backs," Flynn added. "You've got to move forward and I think this is moving forward for me.

"I'm part of a team, and after speaking to John [Toshack] I know we're in it together. That will be an important message to send to the younger players."

Flynn revealed he will have the final say on team selection. He also said he wants to strike a balance between preparing young players for the demands of senior international football and getting results on the field.

He will certainly want to avoid a repeat of the dismal run under former under-21s boss Jimmy Shoulder where the team went five-and-a-half years and 26 games without a win.

"I will be judged on producing players for the national team, but I want to get results along the way - you can't beat a winning mentality," Flynn added.

"We don't want our young players to get used to losing."

Flynn's first game in charge will be the Uefa Under-21 Championship qualifier at home to Germany on Tuesday, 8 February.




SEE ALSO
Southall quits Wales youth role
28 Nov 04 |  Internationals


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