By Paul Jones
Robert Page has pinpointed qualification for the 2024 Euros and 2026 World Cup as his targets after being confirmed as the long-term manager of Wales.
The man who took over from Ryan Giggs has signed a new four-year contract to continue in the job, two months before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, when Wales will make just their second appearance at the finals.
The new deal means Page will be in charge for Wales’ 2024 European Championship and 2026 World Cup qualifying campaigns.
Page said: “There is no bigger honour than coaching your national team and I can’t wait for the challenge the next four years will bring, starting with our first FIFA World Cup in 64 years.
“This is an exciting time for Welsh football and I hope we can make the country proud in November and continue our success by qualifying for more major tournaments in the future.”
Robert Page has signed new four-year Wales contract.
🗣There is no bigger honour than coaching your national team and I can’t wait for the challenge the next four years will bring, starting with our first FIFA World Cup in 64 years 🏴 pic.twitter.com/Try0tV55A2
— Phil Blanche (@philblanche) September 12, 2022
Former defender Page captained Wales and made 550 senior appearances during an 18-year playing career at Watford, Sheffield United, Cardiff, Coventry, Huddersfield and Chesterfield.
The 48-year-old from the Rhondda managed Port Vale and Northampton before being appointed Wales Under-21 boss in 2017.
Page joined the senior coaching staff in 2019 and became interim manager in November 2020 after Giggs went on leave to contest charges of assault and controlling or coercive behaviour against his former girlfriend.
Page led Wales to the knockout stages of the delayed 2020 European Championship the following summer, and then guided Wales to their first World Cup since 1958.
Rob’s page 🏴
Four year contract… Signed ✅
— Wales 🏴 (@Cymru) September 13, 2022
Giggs stood down as Wales manager in June, two weeks after a 1-0 play-off final victory over Ukraine had sealed qualification for Qatar.
FAW chief executive Noel Mooney said: “The FAW strategic plan, Our Wales, has clear ambitions for our Cymru men’s national team, and I am confident that Rob is the best person to bring us more success over the next four years.
“By putting the correct foundations in place, I am sure that we will see Rob and the team qualify for more major tournaments in the near future and continue to grow the positivity and support around Welsh football at the moment.”
Page names his squad for the Nations League ties against Belgium and Poland, Wales’ final games before the World Cup, on Wednesday.
Wales face United States in their World Cup opener on 21 November, ahead of further group games against Iran and England.