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Gary Speed plans Craig Bellamy Wales captaincy talks

Craig Bellamy
Craig Bellamy was the regular Wales captain under John Toshack

New Wales manager Gary Speed says he will meet striker Craig Bellamy soon to discuss the national captaincy.

The Manchester City player, on loan with Cardiff City this season, regularly led Wales on the field under Speed's predecessor John Toshack.

"I'll be sitting down with Craig in the next few days and having a chat with him," former Wales skipper Speed said.

"That's an issue that we'll have to discuss, but... I haven't had a lot of time to think about stuff like that."

Bellamy replaced Ryan Giggs as current national team captain when the Manchester United star retired from international football in 2007.

But the former Liverpool and Newcastle player has often missed internationals because of his long-standing knee problem as James Collins and latterly Ashley Williams have stood in as skipper.

Bellamy, as the current incumbent, is in pole position to retain the armband for Speed's first game in charge in the new Four Nations tournament against Republic of Ireland in Dublin on 8 February.

Bellamy is not just one of the senior figures in the Wales squad but also - along with the likes of Tottenham's Gareth Bale and Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey - one of the few players at Speed's disposal with experience of playing at the highest levels.

Williams eyes Wales captaincy

"I've got to speak to Craig," Speed added. "I spoke to him quite often anyway, I obviously played with him for Wales and Newcastle.

"I know Craig as an individual, he's his own man. He's certainly got his own pathway mapped out in life and does what he feels is best for himself, and rightly so."

The Wales captaincy issue is not Speed's only immediate concern after signing a three-year deal to succeed John Toshack.

Welsh football's new top man is starting to consider assembling his backroom staff.

"It's not just a number two, it's several support staff that hopefully I can bring in," Speed said.

"I think it's going to be a mixture of an experienced coach, maybe an experienced old head in terms of someone I can lean on and look to for advice, and maybe a younger coach.

"We've got names and people in mind, but we'll have to sit down and discuss that with the FA and the individuals involved."

John Carver was Speed's first-team coach at Sheffield United, the 45-year-old moving from Plymouth Argyle to reunite with the man he worked with at Newcastle United while assistant to Sir Bobby Robson.

Speed welcomes high expectation

Carver remains at Bramall Lane as the caretaker manager following Speed's departure from the Championship club but Speed's eventual replacement at the Blades may want to bring his own assistants with him.

"John's obviously still got a job there," Speed said.

"We'll have to wait and see what happens at Sheffield United and who comes in there.

"But the Championship and the Premiership don't play in internationals weeks so there is the possibility of that [job sharing] also."

Carver, however, notably once had off-the-field bust-ups with Bellamy during his tumultuous time at Newcastle.

The pair most notably clashed at Newcastle airport ahead of the Uefa Cup trip to Real Mallorca in March 2004, the season after they came to blows at Newcastle's training ground.

But Bellamy later insisted that Carver, a guest at Bellamy's wedding in June 2006, that "John Carver is one of my best friends...As a coach and player, we used to go out in the evenings together. I liked him a lot."

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see also
Speed gives 'substance and style'
15 Dec 10 |  Welsh
Wales unveil Speed as new manager
14 Dec 10 |  Welsh
Gary Speed picture gallery
27 Nov 11 |  Wales
Birch in no rush to replace Speed
14 Dec 10 |  Sheff Utd
Hughes backs Speed for Wales job
10 Dec 10 |  Welsh
Lagerback in frame for Wales job
19 Nov 10 |  Welsh
Rush 'capable' of doing Wales job
11 Nov 10 |  Welsh
Flynn urged to go for Wales job
16 Oct 10 |  Welsh
Speed confirmed as Blades manager
17 Aug 10 |  Sheff Utd
Magpies cool on Bellamy row
24 Mar 04 |  Newcastle
Wales' football managers
13 Sep 10 |  Welsh
Wales' results archive
10 Oct 05 |  Welsh
Wales' international fixtures
22 Aug 07 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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