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Gary Speed offers 'substance and style' says FAW chief

Speed 'best man for Wales job'

Gary Speed has been appointed Welsh manager on account of his footballing pedigree rather than marketability says FA of Wales chief Jonathan Ford

The FAW have confirmed the 41-year-old former Leeds, Newcastle and Everton player as John Toshack's successor.

Speed has signed a three-and-a-half year deal that will take him up to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

"I think it's a fantastic day for Welsh football," said Ford, a former marketing man with Coca-Cola and MTV.

"Gary's got to get those players performing at the very best level, winning some matches for us.

"He's also a marketer's dream, so of course as far as I'm concerned I've got a double winner here.

"The substance needs to come first, but Gary's a very stylish man as well so that makes our job a little easier.

Sheffield United handed Speed his first job in August but the Blades have let him go after compensation was paid by the Football Association of Wales.

"Obviously the details of our agreement with Sheffield United will, and should, remain confidential," said Ford.

Gary Speed (left) and Jonathan Ford
Gary Speed (left) was unveiled as manager on Tuesday

"But of course most people have some sort of compensation clause linked into their contract and there's probably no exception here.

"But suffice to say the approaches were made, we followed appropriate etiquette and everybody's happy all round.

"It would be inappropriate to discuss figures but ultimately I think we have got the very best man for Wales and let's just hope for future success."

Despite his relative lack of managerial experience Speed was appointed manager ahead of some notable candidates.

Former Sweden and Nigeria coach Lars Lagerbeck, ex-Fulham and Coventry boss Chris Coleman and Wales youth boss Brian Flynn were also in the frame.

They, along with former Wales striker John Hartson, are believed to have been interviewed by the FAW for the vacant position.

"It's a long process and of course every one of those people we spoke to could have done this job," said Ford.

"The panel that was put in place ultimately had to make a selection. It is a selection process and unfortunately there is only one winner."

"Gary's role will be as the head of football for Wales. He is the manager of football in this country.

"Of course his direct responsibility is with the international team. But ultimately he's going to have influence wherever he goes.

"I would like to see Gary, and I'm sure Gary will want to see himself part of coaching clinics and being part of those teams coming through.


"He will want an influence all the way through, and that's what we need.

"We need Gary there to attract fans into the stadium, we need Gary there to get the players playing at there very best and being an inspiration to the kids coming through.

"Gary is the manager of Welsh football, not just the international team."

One of Speed's priorities will be to appoint a backroom team but Ford refused to be drawn on who would be named as part of the new manager's support staff.

"It would be inappropriate for me to talk about any particular roles," said Ford. "'I've not had that conversation with Gary.

"Obviously those are conversations to be held.

"We don't play as much of course as a league team so there's not quite the need on a full time basis."

Ford is also hopeful Brian Flynn will continue in his role as intermediate manager, responsible for Wales's youth teams.

Following Toshack's departure in September, Flynn was caretaker manager for the Euro 2012 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Switzerland.

"Everyone is delighted with the work Brian has done," said Ford. "Brian is currently under contract with us.

"Of course he's bitterly disappointed that he wasn't successful himself in getting the national team manager position.

"He's got the intermediate job and is doing a fantastic job and I think Brian, by his own admission, would love to continue doing the great work he's doing for Wales.

"As long as Brian wants to stay there we are very happy with the work that he is doing and I just hope he continues to do the great job he's being doing in the past."

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see also
Speed plans Bellamy captain talks
15 Dec 10 |  Welsh
Wales unveil Speed as new manager
14 Dec 10 |  Welsh

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