Wayne Rooney has been appointed as the new manager of Birmingham City on a three-and-a-half-year deal.
The former Manchester United and England striker left his role as head coach of DC United by mutual consent on Sunday after they missed out on the MLS Cup play-offs.
Birmingham then began talks with the 37-year-old just hours after sacking boss John Eustace on Monday despite the club sitting sixth in the Championship following back-to-back wins.
Rooney will be supported by his former England team-mate Ashley Cole, who is the current England U21s assistant, John O’Shea, the assistant coach of the Republic of Ireland men’s national team,
While Carl Robinson and Pete Shuttleworth, who both worked under him at DC United will also work with him on the new job, and Maik Taylor will remain as goalkeeper coach.
Cole and O’Shea will retain their coaching roles with their respective national sides.
“I am absolutely delighted to be joining Birmingham City Football Club at such an exciting time. It is very clear that they have a plan and are committed to realising their ambition for the club. We are fully aligned on what is expected.
“I have been building my managerial career, putting myself in challenging environments, to get me ready for this opportunity. It’s a project that gives me a sense of purpose and I can’t wait to get started.
“We have some exciting young players in the squad, and some who are still to break through into the first team, alongside a core of experienced senior professionals. I have a clear way that I want the team to play, and my coaching staff and I will work hard to implement it. We will create a winning culture here with an identity that gets Blues fans on their feet,” Rooney said.
Rooney, who has also managed Derby County, said is job is to elevate the club to the next level and can’t wait to get started. “I know what the expectations are and our job is to deliver.
“I’ve played at St. Andrew’s and Birmingham City fans were always loud and passionate about their team. It was a really difficult place to come as an opponent and now I get to experience what it is like to have them behind us,” Rooney said.
Wayne Rooney will start his new role on October 21 with an away clash at Middlesbrough for 3pm kick-off time. His team welcomes Hull City four days later on October 25 for a 7.45pm kick-off time.
On October 28, Birmingham will play away at Southampton (12:3pm). Then host Ipswich Town on November 4.
On November 11, Wayne Rooney will lead his Birmingham side to play Sunderland, before hosting Sheffield Wednesday on November 25.
“it is essential that the board of directors and the football management are fully aligned on the importance of implementing a winning mentality and a culture of ambition across the entire football club,” Birmingham said in a statement explaining Eustace’s sacking.
Garry Cook, chief executive of Birmingham City, said the timing of the appointment will allow Wayne to evaluate the playing staff and work with Craig Gardner on the squad’s recruitment needs ahead of the January and summer transfer windows.
“We are incredibly excited by Wayne Rooney’s arrival. When the opportunity presents itself to appoint a manager who shares your ambition and is both a student and a great of the game, then you act. This is what we have done.
“We are confident that his appointment, supported by his hand-picked coaching staff, will culminate in a young, attack-minded team that will excite our fans,” Cook said.