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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 June 2005, 13:21 GMT 14:21 UK
Claridge appointed Millwall boss
Steve Claridge
Claridge is a former Millwall player
Millwall have appointed former player Steve Claridge as their new manager.

The 39-year-old, who played 101 games for the club in two spells, succeeds Dennis Wise, who resigned in May.

"I'm thrilled to be given the opportunity. I thoroughly enjoyed my time here previously and this is a challenge I just couldn't turn down.

"Everyone at Millwall knows me and knows what to expect. I'm now looking forward to getting started," Claridge told the Lions' website.

Claridge ended last season at Wycombe, where he had discussed signing a new one-year contract.

Steve has a passion for this club that the supporters can identify with
Jeff Burnige
It was his 13th league club in a career spanning more than 20 years.

His first foray into management was a short stint at Portsmouth from October 2000 to Ferbuary 2001.

It ended in acrimony when Graham Rix was appointed - with Claridge claiming he was kept in the dark.

In between further playing spells, he had just over a year in charge at non-league Weymouth, but that also ended on a sour note when he was sacked last October.

Millwall chairman Jeff Burnige also spoke to former Derby boss George Burley and ex-Cardiff boss Lennie Lawrence was also linked with the post.

But he insisted the much-travelled striker was his first choice.

"Steve fulfills the criteria I was looking for in a manager and is the only candidate to whom I offered the job," Burnige said.

"He has previous managerial experience and a wide knowledge of this division.

"The clinching factor for me, however, was his burning desire to manage Millwall. Steve has a passion for this club that the supporters can identify with."


WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Millwall boss Steve Claridge




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