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Wayne Rooney: Former Manchester United and England forward appointed new Plymouth Argyle head coach

Wayne Rooney has been appointed the new head coach of Plymouth Argyle; 38-year-old is keen to re-establish his reputation at the Sky Bet Championship club after a poor spell at Birmingham last season, when he lost nine games out of 15; Rooney has also managed Derby County and DC United

Wayne Rooney has been appointed Plymouth manager
Image: Wayne Rooney has been appointed Plymouth manager

Wayne Rooney says his appointment as the new head coach at Plymouth Argyle is the "perfect next step" in his career.

England's second-highest goalscorer was sacked by Birmingham in January after just 83 days in charge.

Rooney has also managed at Derby County and DC United and now takes the fourth role of his managerial career at Sky Bet Championship side Plymouth.

The 38-year-old said: "Taking this role at Plymouth Argyle feels like the perfect next step in my career - and I would like to thank the chairman and board for the faith they have shown in me.

"This is an opportunity to be part of an exciting project. I look forward to helping to build a squad of players to play expansive football - and to entertain the Green Army.

Wayne Rooney

"I have experienced first-hand how talented the existing group of players is here - and also the incredible atmosphere at Home Park. The club is on an exciting long-term journey, with a progressive plan in place. I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of it.

Plymouth retained their Championship status on the final day of the 2023/24 season after beating Hull City 1-0 at Home Park to finish in 21st place - one point above relegated Birmingham.

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Argyle were looking for a new boss after the dismissal of Ian Foster towards the end of last season.

Wayne Rooney looks on dejected as Birmingham manager

Director of football Neil Dewsnip and coach Kevin Nancekivell took charge on an interim basis for the remainder of the campaign and guided Plymouth to safety. Dewsnip knows Rooney from his time as a coach at Everton's academy.

Plymouth said a "number of highly experienced managers and head coaches were interviewed" but Rooney stood out as the "right candidate".

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Chairman Simon Hallett said: "Throughout the interview process, Wayne showed himself to be a passionate, intelligent, and knowledgeable candidate with an appetite to prove himself and develop his managerial career.

"So much so, that he reached out to the board when we started this process and was attracted by the project at hand and showed a real plan on how to lead the football club forward.

"His ambitions and aims match ours perfectly and we feel he is the perfect candidate to provide the exciting and attacking brand of football that we all like to see and help us achieve the club's mission.

"We look forward to another exciting season of Championship football, and I welcome him to Argyle."

First-team coaches Nancekivell and Simon Ireland, and goalkeeping coach Daryl Flahavan will form part of Rooney's backroom staff, with further additions to be made.

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