Stelea replaces Săndoi at Romania U21 helm

Emil Săndoi has stepped down as Romania Under-21 coach after seven years at the helm, with former international goalkeeper Bogdan Stelea named as his successor.

Bogdan Stelea in his playing days
Bogdan Stelea in his playing days ©Getty Images

Bogdan Stelea has been appointed the new coach of Romania's Under-21 side, filling the post vacated by Emil Săndoi, who leaves after seven years in charge.

The 45-year-old former Romania goalkeeper, who won 91 caps and featured at five major international tournaments including EURO '96 and UEFA EURO 2000, said: "I hope we can pick up some decent results because that's all that matters. I didn't expect the offer but I am honoured to take up this position. The players should be aware that they have plenty of responsibilities. Some of them are key players for Romania's biggest clubs.

"We have not started very well in qualifying but we will do our best to progress. Working with a national team is more difficult that working at club level because I haven't got much time to get started," added Stelea, who had a brief spell at the helm of FC Astra in 2012 after earning his spurs as an assistant coach of the senior national team from 2009-2011. 

Romania began their bid to reach the 2015 finals in the Czech Republic by drawing 2-2 with the Faroe Islands in Group 6. Stelea's reign as U21 coach starts with an away trip to Montengro on 10 September, before back-to-back October assignments against the Republic of Ireland.