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Latest news - August 1999.
 Ryan Giggs to be handed new role.
Ryan Giggs will be handed a new role against Belarus in the Euro 2000 qualifier on Saturday evening. But new boss Mark Hughes is remaining tight-lipped about the new role.

What Mark Hughes said:

"I want him to have the ball whenever we have the chance of moving forward."

“He's the kind of player who likes to be involved so I'm sure he will relish the challenge.”

Sunday, August 29th 1999.

 FAW New Sponsorship Deal.
The FAW have been boosted by a new 500,000 sponsorship deal with the Nationwide Building Society.

The cash, linked in part to results and qualification for major tournaments, is part of a three-year deal. But a Nationwide spokesman made it clear that the vast majority of the money is up front.

What Mark Hughes said:

"We are very pleased, this can only help Welsh football."

“We’re very pleased that Nationwide has agreed to sponsor the Wales side and continue its commitment to international and national football.”

Friday, August 27th 1999.

 Mark names his coaching staff.
Mark Hughes has named his new coaching staff.

In comes his former Manchester United youth coach Eric Harrison as his assistant manager, also in is Chelsea's Eddie Niedzwiecki as senior team coach. Jimmy Shoulder and Mark Bowen come in to run the Under-21's.

Sparky also confirmed that he would stand down as a player for the matches where he is manager, but has named himself on the standby list.

What Mark Hughes said:

"I have known and respected Eric for many years. He had a major input in my career as well as the likes of Beckham and Giggsy."

"He is one of the most knowledgeable people in the game. Sir Alex Ferguson rang me to congratulate me on getting the job and to praise my choice of Eric as my number two."

"He has always impressed me with his knowledge and the way he conducts himself. We have been playing together for years, and when I was at Chelsea, Eddie was already on the coaching staff there."

"He is a coach of very top ability and after his own career with Wales as a player he has all the right credentials to move into a coaching role."

What Jimmy Shoulder said:

"It's almost the dream job for me. I have got involvement in coaching at the grass roots at Swindon, and now I can do the same for Wales. My job with the FAW had become very much a desk job over recent months."

What Mark Bowen said:

"I didn't need much persuading when Mark rang me. We have been friends and international team-mates for many years and I will enjoy working with him."

Friday, August 20th 1999.

 John Oster completes Sunderland move.
John Oster has finally completed his 1m move to Sunderland . He joins them from Everton on a three year contract.

John Oster - player profile.

Friday, August 6th 1999.

 Mark Pembridge completes Everton move.
Mark Pembridge has finally completed his 800,000 move to Everton . He joins them from Benfica in a four year deal.

Mark Pembridge - player profile.

Friday, August 6th 1999.

 Dean Saunders completes Bradford City move.
Dean Saunders has signed a two year deal with Premiership newcomers Bradford City. He moved from his old club Benfica on a free transfer.

Dean Saunders - player profile.

Thursday, August 5th 1999.

 Mark Hughes new Wales manager - Reaction.
What Mark Hughes said on being new Wales manager:
“I’m going to do it my way”

“I’ve been lucky to work with some great managers."

“You can’t help but learn from people like Ron Atkinson, Sir Alex Ferguson, Terry Venables, Glenn Hoddle and Ruud Gullitt."

“They have been some of the top managers of recent times. But any manager has to put his own ideas into practice."

“I’ve got a good idea of how I want the game played, and what you have to do to be successful.”

Mark Hughes also added that he hoped the players would back his appointment for the final two Euro 2000 qualifier's against Belarus in September and at home to Switzerland on October 9.

"All I will be asking from the players is their support and commitment,"

“I’ve been called ‘Sparky’ for 15 years, so I can’t see that changing.”

“I don’t know whether the players will call me ‘Gaffer,’”

What Mark Hughes said on his playing career:
"At the moment I haven't given any thought to stopping playing for Wales"

"I guess it will be up to me to decide whether I deserve a place!"

What Southampton manager Dave Jones said:

“I will do all I can to help Mark handle this job”

“I knew he had a good chance of it, but his priority at the moment must be Southampton."

“I will sit down with him and do my very best to make it easy for him to do both jobs."

“We will have discussions about how he can combine the two. As for his credentials, I believe he is excellent managerial material.”

What Terry Yorath said:

“Mark is very big in Welsh football, and very big in world football."

“He has great experience and it’s a good appointment in as much as he’s got the name and the respect."

“But I’m not certain that they (the FAW) haven’t done it in panic with Terry Venables having not got the nod."

“Were they thinking that they had to do something?”

What 1958 World Cup squad member Cliff Jones said:

"I think it's very promising."

"I'm sure Mark will take the commitment and passion he has for the game into management."

"He's a very skillful player, one of the greats of Welsh football and I'm sure players will recognise that and latch onto it."

What former Welsh captain Barry Horne said:

"Its a baptism of fire - to cut your teeth with international players is a test for the best."

"But Mark is one of the best players that Wales have ever produced. For the last 10-12 years he's been right up there."

"He'll have the respect of all the players. And knowing Mark as I do I'm sure of he takes the same determination and will to win into his managerial career that he has when he's playing, it'll stand him in good stead."

"It's easy to forget, but he has worked with some of the best coaches."

"He's worked with Venables, he's worked with Alex Ferguson. He's played alongside some of the greats at Chelsea, so if he uses just half of that knowledge he'll be right up there."

Mark Hughes - player profile.

Thursday, August 5th 1999.

 Mark Hughes new Wales manager.
Mark Hughes has been named as new Wales manager by the FAW. Mark will be in charge on temporary basis for remaining Euro 2000 qualifier's against Belarus and Switzerland.

The manager's job will then be reviewed by FAW sometime after that.

According to the FAW Terry Venables was ruled out of the running because of his pay demands. The FAW had considered a three-year deal but his salary demands proved the stumbling block.

Mark Hughes - player profile.

Tuesday, August 3rd 1999.

 Dean Saunders set sign to for Bradford City.
Dean Saunders is ready to return to the Premiership by signing for newcomers Bradford City.

Dean Saunders - player profile.

What Bradford chairman Geoffrey Richmond said:

"We are trying to complete the deal prior to Friday so that Dean will be considered for selection at Middlesbrough."

"But with it being a transfer from a foreign club, you do have an in-built delay."

"However we are moving towards a deal. The position will be clearer by the middle of the day tomorrow."

Tuesday, August 3rd 1999.

 Sub-committee to report back.
The sub-committee set up to find a new Welsh manager will report back to a FAW council meeting on Tuesday. The council will be told how last week's interviews went with leading candidates.

Terry Venables will also announce whether he is interested in the Wales job.

Monday August 2nd 1999.

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