Stuart James on 12 January 2018
The Football Association of Wales is expected to announce Chris Coleman’s successor in the coming days after completing a managerial search in which Ryan Giggs, Osian Roberts, Craig Bellamy and Mark Bowen were interviewed for the post that has been vacant since November.
The interviews took place on Thursday, overseen by Jonathan Ford, the FAW chief executive, and it is anticipated that a decision will be made quickly, with Giggs currently the frontrunner. The 44-year-old, who has been out of work since leaving his role as Manchester United’s No2 in 2016, said last month that he was interested in replacing Coleman and described managing Wales as “one of the top jobs”.
Bellamy, who played alongside Giggs for Wales, has also made no secret of his desire to manage his country, saying he will “probably be interested in it for the rest of my life”. The 38-year-old, who represented Wales 78 times but has no managerial experience, is working in Cardiff City’s academy.
Roberts is the candidate with the most coaching experience and would provide a link with the previous regime. He is the FAW technical director and was a highly influential figure in Wales’ success under Coleman in his role as the assistant manager.
It is understood that Bowen, who was working as Mark Hughes’s assistant manager at Stoke City until last Saturday, is the final candidate. A well-respected coach, Bowen won 41 Wales caps and was assistant manager of his country during Hughes’s time in charge.
With the draw for the Nations League taking place in Lausanne in just under a fortnight, the FAW is keen to have a manager in place as soon as possible as Wales seek to move on from the disappointment of missing out on qualifying for the World Cup finals.