Tue, Jun 24, 2008 - Page 20 News List

Ince becomes Premiership's first black English manager

AFP , LONDON

Former England star Paul Ince on Sunday became the first black English manager in the Premier League after he was appointed Blackburn Rovers boss.

Ince — who will be officially unveiled today — has signed a three-year deal with the Ewood club and replaces Mark Hughes, who earlier this month left for Manchester City.

Ince is considered one of the most promising young managers in England, after he led MK Dons to League One promotion this season and won the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Wembley.

“Milton Keynes Dons FC can confirm the departure of its manager Paul Ince to take up the vacant position at Blackburn Rovers,” a Dons club statement said on Sunday. “We were aware that a number of clubs would be alerted to Paul’s considerable talents and that retaining his services might prove an impossible challenge. After what he has achieved in his time with the club, we cannot deny Paul the deserved opportunity to work in the greatest league in the world. We know everybody in Milton Keynes will join us in wishing him every continued success in what is certain to be a fantastic managerial career.”

Steve McClaren, Sam Allardyce and Michael Laudrup had all been linked with the vacant Rovers post.

The announcement comes 24 hours after the English Premier League gave the appointment the green light, after it had earlier emerged that Ince did not have the requisite coaching qualifications.

The League have stipulated that the former West Ham United, Manchester United, Inter Milan and Liverpool midfielder must get his UEFA Pro Coaching License within two years.

Ince will now pit his wits against former boss Sir Alex Ferguson, joining an expanding group of United alumni in England’s top flight, including Hughes, Steve Bruce (Wigan) and Roy Keane (Sunderland).

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