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Last Updated: Friday, 15 April, 2005, 13:34 GMT 14:34 UK
Coyle becomes St Johnstone boss
Owen Coyle
Owen Coyle was in his third spell with Airdrie
Veteran Airdrie United striker Owen Coyle has been named the new manager of St Johnstone and immediately set his sights on promotion next season.

He will retain caretaker player-boss Jim Weir as his assistant when he starts his two-year contract on Monday.

Coyle will play his final game for Airdrie on Saturday against St Mirren.

He said: "Everything here at McDiarmid Park is tailor made for SPL football. First, we must ensure that we retain our First Division status."

Coyle started his career at Dumbarton and also playing for Clydebank, Airdrieonians, Bolton Wanderers, Dundee United, Motherwell, Dunfermline Athletic and Ross County.

The 38-year-old former Ireland international has been assistant manager at Airdrie since November.
We had to find someone who the board of directors at this club felt could get us out of the First Division
St Johnstone chairman Geoff Brown

He had been co-manager of Falkirk two seasons ago, when they won the First Division title but were denied promotion because of Scottish Premier League stadium requirements.

Coyle had left Brockville for Dundee United then joined Airdrie for the third time in his career on loan before joining permanently after the winning of promotion from Division Two.

"I see it as the next stage of my development," he said of the Perth club's appointment.

"I've been joint-manager with John Hughes at Falkirk, taken charge of Dundee United's reserves and been assistant at Airdrie United so I'm delighted to now get this opportunity to be my own man.

"Saints are a friendly, family-orientated club with a good atmosphere and I'm looking to build on that.

"I'm a great believer that people have to come to work with a smile on their face and that's what I'll be trying to achieve here."

Former United boss Ian McCall and former St Johnstone players Alan Kernaghan and Allan Preston had been among the leading contenders for the Perth job.

Former Chelsea manager John Hollins was also thought to be keen on the post, but chairman Geoff Brown moved quickly to a shortlist after sacking John Connolly.

Brown said: "I stated a week past Monday that we had to find someone who the board of directors at this club felt could get us out of the First Division, someone with knowledge and experience of this league.

"We have had a lot of applications and weżve done a lot of work and the end result is that we firmly believe that, in Owen Coyle, we have found that person."

Coyle hopes to continue playing next season for the club who signed brother Tommy from Dumbarton back in 1987.


SEE ALSO
Coyle becomes Airdrie assistant
09 Nov 04 |  Airdrie United
Airdrie's Black joins Leicester
03 Nov 04 |  Leicester City



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