Wayne Rooney confirmed as Plymouth Argyle head coach

Wayne Rooney at Home Park, prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Plymouth Argyle and Birmingham City
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Plymouth Argyle have confirmed that they have appointed former England captain Wayne Rooney as their new head coach. The club says there were a number of "highly experienced" candidates in the running but insisted that Rooney "stood out".

Earlier this week, rumours began swirling that the former England and Manchester United striker was in talks with Argyle about becoming the new head coach. Yesterday, Friday, May 24, it was reported that his appointment was imminent.

Rooney says that he is looking forward to helping to build a squad to play what he terms expansive football. He has also pledged to entertain the Green Army.

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The search for a new head coach has been underway since Ian Foster was sacked in April. Argyle says there has been a lengthy and extensive recruitment process, during which a number of "highly experienced" managers and head coaches were interviewed.

They say that Rooney "stood out as the right candidate for Argyle" and was a "passionate, intelligent and knowledgeable candidate". His last post was as manager of Birmingham City until he was dismissed in January after just 83 days.

Pilgrims 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."

Argyle fans have had mixed reactions since rumours began emerging of the new appointment. Some were very critical of the decision, saying the club will find itself "fighting for relegation from the first game played in August" while others said fans should get behind him.

Argyle chief executive Andrew Parkinson said: "Wayne brings a wealth of football experience to Argyle and a passion to kickstart his managerial career with an ambitious, forward-thinking and well-managed football club.

"As conversations advanced, it was clear there was a natural alignment in our footballing ideals and the best way to take the club forward. When you have positive conversations like that it is a perfect match, and we believe Wayne is the ideal person to help the club on its next five-year journey.

"Focus will now switch to strengthening the squad ahead of next season, with our recruitment team working hard behind the scenes and Wayne will be an important contributor to that work."

Rooney 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.

"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. I can’t wait for the Championship season to start in August."