Ex-Wales manager John Toshack has been appointed coach of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
The 62-year-old replaces Mirsad Jonuz, who was relieved of his duties in June with FYROM lying fifth in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying Group B, nine points off the summit. Toshack's first assignment will be away against joint section leaders Russia on 2 September, with caretaker coach Boban Babunski due to oversee Wednesday's friendly against Azerbaijan.
"Mr Toshack expressed a great desire to lead our national team," said Haralampie Hadzi-Risteski, president of the Football Association of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FFM). "For us, not only as a federation, but also as a modest football nation, this is great recognition. John Toshack has accepted the conditions that we have offered under the projected budget of the federation and we have agreed that he will lead our national team until the end of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers."
"It's truly an honour that the FFM have chosen me as the next manager of the Macedonian national team," explained Toshack, who left his post as Wales manager in September 2010. "Of course, we will fully utilise the remaining qualifiers for EURO 2012 to prepare as best as we can for the next challenge, which is Brazil 2014."
FYROM have been drawn to face Toshack's native Wales in 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying and the former Liverpool FC striker – and coach of clubs including Real Madrid CF, Real Sociedad de Fútbol and Beşiktaş JK – expects two difficult games against his old side. "It will be hard to play against Wales, but I can't think how Welsh fans will react because I am a professional and will do my best to turn things around in Macedonia."
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