Derby County has appointed Wayne Rooney as manager on a permanent basis after a string of positive results since taking office as interim boss in November. His move to full-time management also ended a successful playing career that began in 2002.
Rooney, who initially joined the Rams as a player-coach in January 2020, was given a two-and-a-half-year contract until the end of the 2022/23 season.
His immediate task will be to move Derby away from the league’s relegation zone, having already seen a comeback in results since taking over provisionally.
Rooney, now 35, was named head of the interim coaching staff when Philipp Cocu was sacked and has since watched Derby win three, draw four and lose just twice. The Rams have tripled their point total since Rooney took the lead in solo and briefly left the relegation zone.
Rooney hasn’t played a game himself since his acting appointment and has indeed played his last game of professional football.
Steve McClaren will continue in his role as Technical Director, while coaches Liam Rosenior, Shay Given and Justin Walker will also remain. Rosenior will be deputy director.
“When I returned to the UK I was completely blown away by the potential of Derby County Football Club. The stadium, the training ground, the quality of the playing staff and the young players arriving and of course the fan base that has remained loyal and supportive, ”Rooney said gratefully to DCFC.co.uk.
“Despite other offers, I instinctively knew Derby County was the place for me,” he added.
“To have the opportunity to follow people like Brian Clough, Jim Smith, Frank Lampard and Phillip Cocu is such an honor and I can promise everyone involved with the club and all of our fans, my staff and myself to leave no stone unturned in realizing the potential that I have witnessed over the past 12 months of this historic football club.
For more than Jamie Spencer, follow it on Twitter and Facebook!