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Last Updated: Monday, 29 October 2007, 13:18 GMT
Former Napoli boss takes QPR role
Luigi de Canio
De Canio is the new first team coach at Loftus Road
Queens Park Rangers have confirmed the appointment of Italian Luigi de Canio as first team coach.

The 50-year-old, who has led Udinese, Napoli, Reggina, Genoa and more recently Siena, has signed a three-year contract at Loftus Road.

Mick Harford, who had been in caretaker charge following the sacking of John Gregory, has left the club.

"I am very excited at this fantastic opportunity. It will be an honour," De Canio told QPR's website.

"I am looking forward to getting to work with the players in preparation for our game against Hull on Saturday."

606: DEBATE

The incoming new owners at QPR - a group fronted by Formula One magnates Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone - were keen to appoint an Italian.

They turned to De Canio after a bid to install former Palermo and Monaco boss Franceso Guidolin stalled.

"De Canio is fully aware of the high standards and objectives that the new management has set for the future of the club," said chairman Gianni Paladini.

"He is ready and eager to take up the challenge."

Paladini added: "We offered Mick Harford a role within the new set-up and we're disappointed that he turned it down.

"He has done a fantastic job and his contribution will never be forgotten.

"The club is going through a phase of total restructuring and for us, the appointment of Luigi de Canio is the first important step ahead in our long-term strategy."

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