BBC Sport football


Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 15:12 GMT, Monday, 13 September 2010 16:12 UK

Brian Flynn - the small man in Wales' big job

John Toshack and Brian Flynn
Outgoing boss John Toshack and his successor Brian Flynn

By Peter Shuttleworth

So the small man of Welsh football has finally got the big job - for the time being at least.

All 5ft 3ins of Brian Flynn will be bursting with pride at being honoured with the Wales' caretaker managerial role as he is given the opportunity of building international success on the foundations he created.

The 54-year-old unearthed and played a major role in the development of Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Collison, among others, into the top-level footballers.

And now Flynn himself will have the chance to show his capabilities at the highest level in two Euro 2012 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Switzerland in October.

Ryan Giggs
Ryan Giggs wins his 64th and final cap against Czech Republic in 2007

The respected coach is part of a Football Association of Wales vision of a dream managerial team to ultimately replace Toshack on a permanent basis.

The long-term aim of Welsh football's top brass is for Flynn to work alongside Ryan Giggs, Welsh football's most famous export, in a perfect synergy of footballing style and substance.

What pupil Giggs lacks in coaching nous and experience, he makes up for in universal star quality that will not just inspire players and fans but attract the increasingly important sponsorship and corporate world.

And what Flynn may lack in worldwide notoriety, he certainly makes up in experience, coaching diligence and a peerless sense of commitment that he first showcased as a player.

Patriotic Flynn, whose finest hour was helping Wales to the 1976 European Championship quarter-finals, won 66 caps as a player.

And such was the former midfielder's dedication, a character trait of some of the current Wales squad Toshack questioned as he stood down, he failed to answer just seven Wales calls in his 10-year international career.

And Flynn's tenacity and will to help his country was apparent when he agreed to oversee the development of Wales' younger players despite the being continually turned down by the Welsh FA for the top job.

But after three unsuccessful interviews to become national team coach, his widely-regarded work transforming Welsh football's youth structure has earned him the job his dedication to his country deserves.

Commitment is not the word often used to describe Giggs' Wales career - he won 64 caps during his 16-year international career and missed 53 Welsh games for various reasons.

But the FAW's hierarchy would dearly love the Welsh Red Devil to join coaching angel Flynn whenever Giggs feels the time is right.

The Manchester United winger, whose current contract expires next summer, has been promised a coaching role at Old Trafford once the 36-year-old calls time on his distinguished playing career.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has insisted Giggs will not answer any Wales call while his club's most decorated player is still strutting his stuff in the Premier League.

But the FAW hope to persuade Giggs to undertake a dual coaching role upon his playing retirement to satisfy both club and country - and help lift the apathy around the Welsh national team.

Fans hail Ryan Giggs
Welsh fans show their appreciation for Giggs during his playing days

New FAW chief executive Jonathan Ford boasts a distinguished marketing background working with some of the most famous blue-chip companies and fully appreciates the universal appeal of appointing someone of Giggs' stature as a figurehead.

Giggs would not just unite most of Welsh football's factions but award Wales instant worldwide interest and respect in equal measure.

But appointing Giggs would also be a marketing masterstroke as you could argue he is more famous than the country he once captained.

Wales were once the best supported team in Europe during the Mark Hughes era when they narrowly failed to qualify for the Euro 2004 finals.

But Wales, in transition for the best part of Toshack's reign, have not attracted a 30,000 home crowd since the game Giggs hung up his playing boots for Wales - a goalless draw against Czech Republic in June 2007.

Ford's Welsh footballing desire is for the national team to be ingrained into the national psyche; he wants posters of modern-day heroes Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale to adorn the bedroom walls of children across the land and Ford wants to put bums on seats.

Flynn has polished Welsh football's playing gems and Giggs would be the jewel in the crown.

Giggs, an 11-time Premier League winner and two-time conqueror of Europe with United, would demand immediate regard from Wales' players and the youngsters would see their hero helping their development as a great honour.

Giggs boasts the X-Factor needed to reignite interest among disillusioned Welsh football fans who lost interest in a national team that often failed to inspire under Toshack.

But Ford understands the lure of Giggs for the increasingly important and lucrative corporate world that the new FAW regime are desperate to tap into - and no-one would seduce potential sponsors for Welsh football than one of world football's genuine greats.

Giggs, who openly admits his desire to manage his country one day, has enjoyed a trophy-laden playing career but his one regret is not guiding Wales to a major championship finals.

No-one doubts that will be offered the chance to put that right as Welsh manager whether it is sooner or later.

Print Sponsor

see also
Flynn accepts Wales caretaker job
13 Sep 10 |  Welsh
Toshack departs as Wales manager
09 Sep 10 |  Welsh
Giggs 'perfect answer' for Wales
07 Sep 10 |  Welsh
Giggs ruled out as new Wales boss
10 Sep 10 |  Welsh
Wales managerial options in photos
06 Sep 10 |  Welsh
Montenegro 1-0 Wales
03 Sep 10 |  Welsh
Pick your Wales XI
05 Feb 07 |  Welsh
Wales' football managers
13 Sep 10 |  Welsh
Wales football bosses in photos
06 Sep 10 |  Welsh
Welsh football history
25 Mar 10 |  Welsh
Wales' international fixtures
22 Aug 07 |  Welsh
Wales' results archive
10 Oct 05 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites