Manchester United icon Wayne Rooney hired as head coach of Championship side Plymouth

manchester united icon wayne rooney hired as head coach of championship side plymouth

FILE - D.C. United head coach Wayne Rooney walks off the field after the team's MLS soccer match against Inter Miami, July 8, 2023, in Washington. Manchester United icon Wayne Rooney was appointed manager of second division Plymouth Argyle on Saturday, May 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

LONDON (AP) — Manchester United icon Wayne Rooney was appointed head coach of Championship side Plymouth Argyle on Saturday.

The former England striker takes over at the second-tier club four months after he was fired by Birmingham.

“Taking this role at Plymouth Argyle feels like the perfect next step in my career,” Rooney said. “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.”

Rooney lasted just 83 days as manager of Birmingham, who were relegated from the Championship at the end of the season, and was previously in charge of MLS team DC United and Derby County.

“Rooney’s managerial experience so far has demonstrated his strong character and ability to battle against the odds,” Plymouth said in a statement.

The 38-year-old Rooney enjoyed a decorated career, winning five Premier League titles and the Champions League. He is England’s most capped outfield player of all time after making 120 appearances.

He has made no secret of his determination to emulate that success as a coach.

“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," chairman Simon Hallett said.

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James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

James Robson, The Associated Press

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