LONDON: Craig Bell­amy has been appointed as the new head coach of the Wales national football team on a contract until 2028, the Football Asso­ciation of Wales (FAW) announced on Tuesday.

Bellamy has replaced Rob Page, who was sacked following Wales’ failure to qualify for Euro 2024.

The 44-year-old former Liverpool, Newcastle United and Wales striker leaves Burnley, where he was assistant to former manager Vincent Kom­pany last season as they were relegated from the Premier League.

“I will give my full commitment to develop this team and I am passionate to bring continued success into Welsh football,” Bellamy told the FAW website.

“I can’t wait to get started with our Nations League games in September.”

The FAW’s chief football officer, Dr David Adams, said: “I am absolutely delighted to announce Craig as our new head coach.

“We undertook a thorough recruitment process for the new men’s national team head coach and Craig was identified as the standout candidate.

“We are all looking forward to the Nations League games and working with Craig to deliver success for Welsh Football.”

Burnley chairman Alan Pace added: “I want to thank Craig for all his hard work during his time at Burnley and wish him the best for his new position as Wales manager.

“Craig has been a very important part of our wonderful journey the last two years. I’ve admired his leadership, knowledge and passion.”

Page guided Wales to their first World Cup in 64 years in 2022 and to the second round of Euro 2020 but failed to reach this year’s Euros, losing in a penalty shoot-out to Poland in a play-off.

But he subsequently oversaw one of the most embarrassing results in Wales’ history, a 0-0 draw with Gibraltar in a friendly and then suffered a 4-0 hammering at the hands of Slovakia.

Wales’ next game is the opening match of their Nations League campaign against Turkey on Sept 6, with a trip to Montenegro three days later.

Published in Dawn, July 10th, 2024

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