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Southgate named England U-21 boss

ESPN staff
August 22, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Gareth Southgate is looking forward to the challenge of being England Under-21 boss © Getty Images
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Gareth Southgate has been named as the new England Under-21 head coach.

Southgate, who took charge of Middlesbrough between 2006 and 2009, has signed a three-year contract and will begin work immediately.

He replaces Stuart Pearce, whose six-year reign was brought to an end this summer after England's disappointing performances at the European Under-21 Championship.

Southgate had worked as the FA's head of elite development between February 2011 and July 2012, and told the governing body's official website: "I'm delighted to get this role and extremely excited about the prospect of working with the best and brightest young players in the country.

"I'm a proud Englishman, and playing for my country was the pinnacle of my playing career. Since retiring as a player I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience of the game, both here and abroad, and I'm eager to play my part in preparing players to compete at the highest level.

"Whenever any team steps onto the pitch for England, being successful is of huge importance - but it is also about developing a clear style of play that can allow our talented young players to flourish."

The FA's director of elite development, Dan Ashworth, is convinced Southgate is the right man for the job.

Ashworth said: "I look forward to working with Gareth. He came through a comprehensive and thorough interview process, showing a real understanding of our need to ensure a consistency in the style of play across the England development teams at every level.

"Gareth shares our belief that now is an important moment for English football. It is the time for change, and his ideas and experience will be crucial to the direction we wish to take the development teams in the future."

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