Pierangelo Manzaroli said he felt "pressure and pride" after being installed as San Marino coach for UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying.
"It's a moment I have always dreamt about," the 44-year-old told UEFA.com. "It's hugely satisfying for me. I'm proud of the important role and responsibilities I have been given."
Manzaroli fills the void left by Giampaolo Mazza, who stood down in October after 15 years in charge. "It will not be easy to succeed an experienced coach like Mazza," said Manzaroli. "He made a great contribution with his commitment and work ethic, he changed the role of the San Marino coach using a more modern approach."
Manzaroli has been promoted from the Under-21 helm after earning impressive results such as a 0-0 draw with Greece and, in 2015 UEFA European U21 Championship qualifying, a 1-0 home victory over Wales. Indeed, he is no stranger to eye-catching achievements, having led domestic outfit AC Libertas to a historic 1-1 draw against Irish club Drogheda United FC in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup first qualifying round.
His appointment, therefore, is no surprise to many. "
I feel the pressure but I think it's normal with the new role I have been given," he said. "I will take the job with great enthusiasm, the same enthusiasm I want to see in my players because when they enter the pitch they are representing San Marino.
"Obviously there is a great difference between the U21s and the senior team, but not in terms of the approach to games that is needed. I think this is what has allowed San Marino teams to improve in recent years. The last two years have shown that football in San Marino is alive, we just have to stay on this path and continue to give greater importance to small details in our work."
San Marino have participated in six UEFA European Championship qualifying campaigns and never registered a point. Manzaroli, though, wants to be pitted against the best when the UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying draw is made on 23 February. "The chance to face big European teams is very important for us," he said. "I'm already excited about the draw and I'm sure we can do well.
"I have always been attracted by British football so I would be delighted to have England as the seeded team in our group. Or maybe Spain – why not? In order to improve you have to face the best."
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