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Latest news - November 1999.
 Mark Hughes confirmed as new manager.
Mark Hughes has finally agreed terms when he meet FAW councillors for an hour this afternoon in Shrewsbury. A four and a half year contract with the first 18 months part-time will now have to be rubber-stamped at full council meeting in Llangollen on December 16. It is believed that the first 18 months will be paid on a contract basis rather than match by match, but no details of the agreed financial package have been released.

What Mark Hughes said:

"I'm just glad it has all been sorted - it's a relief."

Wednesday, November 24th 1999.

 Sparky to be confirmed as new manager?
Mark Hughes has insisted that he is still optimistic of officially being named as full-time manager. A meeting is scheduled next Wednesday with the FAW sub-committee to thrash out the financial details of his four-year contract. With John Toshack now back in the frame, FAW president J.O. Hughes has stressed that they will honour their decision to appoint Sparky as manager provided both sides reach an agreement.

What Mark Hughes said:

"I'm optimistic I'll be virtually installed as Welsh manager by Wednesday".

"I want the job as much as I ever did and I'm hopeful we will reach an amicable settlement".

What J.O. Hughes said:

"Provided we can reach a settlement with Mark we will honour our original decision to appoint him. But if we cannot, then the field would be open again."

Friday, November 19th 1999.

 What the future holds.
The squad has spent the last weekend at a training get-together in Newport. Here are some views on that, also Mark Hughes looks forward to the 2002 World Cup.

What Mark Hughes said:

"Then there's the World Cup draw next in December, and it's exciting times."

"They will be at the Millennium Stadium, and we are all looking forward to that. We are lucky to have such a stadium in Cardiff, and the lads can't wait to play there."

What Gary Speed said:

"We have had a very positive get-together over the past few days, working on what went wrong with the Switzerland game, and that has been a good exercise."

"We know we are going to get a tough draw in the World Cup qualifiers, but we all believe we can work on the improvements over the last few games under Mark and feel that we can do something positive whatever group we are in."

Wednesday, November 17th 1999.

 Paul Jones named Welsh player of the year.
Paul Jones has been named as Welsh player of the year. Matthew Jones of Leeds United won the young player of the year award, whilst Mark Delaney was named as club player of the year. Paul was voted the winner by the Welsh football writers and the FAW.

What Paul Jones said:

"This is a great honour considering the amount of really top players that were in contention."

“Helping Wales qualify for the finals of the World Cup or European Championship and Southampton to do well in the Premiership are my main ambitions.”

What Mark Hughes said about Paul Jones:

"I get the benefits of Paul's good form on two levels. First for Southampton, and then when he plays for me when I am Wales boss."

What Mark Hughes said about Matthew Jones:

"In the short time that myself and my coaches have been involved with managing the Welsh squad, Matthew has certainly impressed us."

Tuesday, November 16th 1999.

 Mark Hughes on the future.
Mark Hughes wants to put the steal back into the national team, should the FAW confirm him as manager in December. Hughes has insisted he regards the Welsh job as full-time even though he will continue to play for Southampton for another 18 months or so.

What Mark Hughes said:

"I want to see a side that is at least hardworking and competitive. People have been disappointed in the past when we did not look like much of a side."

"Full-time in everything but the label."

"During the week apart from training I'll be out looking at games, and doing the Welsh job to the best of my ability."

"It's a unique situation but I feel I can combine the two roles."

Monday, November 15th 1999.

 Final offer on the table for Sparky.
The FAW has made a final offer to Mark Hughes as they bid to finally land him as full time manager. Both parties meet again in 10 days time to hopefully rubber-stamp the deal, this a before a full FAW council meeting on December 16.

What an FAW insider has reported to have said:

"I'm hopeful, no I'm confident that an agreement will be reached when Mark next meets the sub-committee."

"Mark wants the job and he knows we want him."

What Mark Hughes said last week:

"I hope agreement can be reached."

Monday, November 15th 1999.

 Sparky in fresh talks.
Mark Hughes has had further contract talks with the FAW yesterday on becoming full time Welsh manager.

What an FAW insider has reported to have said:

"Some of the councillors think this is going to be a backwards step. Bobby Gould used to spend all his time travelling to different countries."

"Mark seems to think he could not have done any more in the last two games and that he can do the job part-time."

"Naturally, the FAW feel he should not be paid the same as if he was working solely for them."

Thursday, November 10th 1999.

 Darren Barnard ineligible to play for Wales?
Darren Barnard's international future with Wales could be in doubt. In 1993 the four home countries agreed that British passport holders born abroad could only play for the country in which their parents were born, both of Darren Barnard’s parents were born in England. It has been confirmed today that Darren is clear to carry on playing for Wales.

What Darren Barnard said:

“I don’t know where I stand at the moment. I haven’t spoken to anyone on the Welsh FA but I will be absolutely devastated if I am prevented from playing for Wales again.”

“It’s been brilliant being in a Wales team with people like Ryan Giggs, Gary Speed, Dean Saunders."

“I’ve played in eight international matches and I don’t want it to stop. I want to win thirty or forty caps - that’s my ambition."

“Hopefully the people in charge will take a lenient view and allow me to carry on playing for Wales."

Wednesday, November 10th 1999.

 Mark Hughes signs one-year contract.
According to reports Mark Hughes has signed a one-year contract with Southampton confirming he will not be hanging up his boots in June next year, when his current contract ends.

Southampton boss Dave Jones has dismissed these rumours.

Monday, November 8th 1999.

 Mark Hughes offered full-time job.
Mark Hughes has today been offered the manager's job on a permanent basis. A FAW sub-committee has offered him a four-year deal, taking him upto the 2004 European championship.

Sparky will continue with his club Southampton until his contract is completed in June. He has week to reply.

Wednesday, November 3rd 1999.

 Sparky meeting scheduled.
Mark Hughes and the FAW will meet this week and try to reach a deal on managing the national side.

Monday, November 1st 1999.

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