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John Toshack is the new manager

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John Toshack (R) with FFM president Hari Hagi-Risteski; photo: ffm.com.mkJohn Toshack (R) with FFM president Hari Hagi-Risteski; photo: ffm.com.mkThe Football Federation of Macedonia (FFM) announced today that Welsh manager John Toshack will be the new manager of the Macedonian national team.

After the lengthy search to succeed the fired Mirsad Jonuz, the vacant manager position has finally been filled with experienced Welsh manager John Toshack.  FFM met with Toshack in Barcelona and both sides were satisfied with the talks and then quickly reached a deal for Toshack to take over the Macedonian national team.  The 62 year old Toshack last managed the Wales national football team from 2004 to 2010 but he resigned from his post following a 1:0 loss away to Montenegro in September of last year.  Toshack has a rich coaching experience as he managed Spanish giants Real Madrid on two brief but separate stints while he has also managed the likes of Swansea City, Sporting Lisbon, Real Sociedad, Deportivo La Coruña, Beşiktaş, Catania, and a couple of more clubs.

According to his bio, Toshack was born in Wales to a Scottish father and Welsh mother.  So, his stint with the Macedonian national team will be extra special as both Scotland and Wales are in Macedonia's group for the 2014 World Cup qualifications.  According to the FFM president, Toshack expressed huge interest to take over the Macedonian national team and FFM was impressed about his vision during the talks held in Barcelona.  Toshack will arrive in Macedonia on 25 August 2011 and will be promoted to the press a day later.  His first game in charge will be the EURO 2012 qualifier against Russia on 2 September 2011 while his debut in front of the Macedonian fans will be four days later during a home game against Andorra.  Keep in mind that Macedonia plays a friendly against Azerbaijan on 10 August 2011 but interim manager Boban Babunski will manage Macedonia during the friendly.  FFM made that announcement several weeks ago as they still needed time to hire the right person to lead the Macedonian national team so they promoted the U21 manager Boban Babunski to manage the friendly in Baku before he will then return to his post on the U21 team.

In his first comments since being named manager, Toshack stated that he is truly grateful that FFM chose him to become the manager of the national team.  The people were great, open and that gave me belief that we can work together to reach new heights for Macedonian football.  I will watch the friendly against Azerbaijan and together with information that I will gather about past matches during EURO 2012 qualifying, I will see the clear picture regarding the potential of the team.  The group for the 2014 World Cup qualifications is hard but at the same time even.  It will be hard to play against my Wales but right now, I have not thought about how I will be accepted by the Welsh fans.  I am a professional and will do my utmost to turn things around in Macedonia.

Toshack will become the 9th manager in the history of the Macedonian national team.  He replaces Mirsad Jonuz who was sacked several months ago due to poor results.  He becomes the highest profile manager that Macedonia has ever had and the third foreign coach after Slovenian Srečko Katanec from 2006 to 2009 and Serbian Slobodan Santrač in 2005.

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