Craig Bellamy Set to Lead Wales National Team


July 09, 2024 · 1 min read

Craig Bellamy Set to Lead Wales National Team
FootBall | July 09, 2024
Craig Bellamy is expected to leave Championship Burnley to succeed former Wales team-mate Rob Page. (Image: Sky Sports)

Craig Bellamy is poised to become the new manager of the Wales national team, emerging as the top choice for the Football Association of Wales (FAW) following the dismissal of Rob Page last month. Currently associated with Burnley, where he recently served as acting head coach before Scott Parker’s appointment, Bellamy’s desire to manage his country has outweighed other opportunities. While negotiations are ongoing, Bellamy is close to finalizing terms with both the FAW and Burnley.

His appointment would conclude the search for Page’s successor, prompted by Wales’ failure to qualify for Euro 2024.  Bellamy, a former Wales captain with 78 international appearances, retired from playing in 2013, missing out on major tournaments despite Wales qualifying under Chris Coleman in 2016.  Bellamy’s coaching career began in Cardiff City’s academy and includes stints as assistant manager to Vincent Kompany at Anderlecht and Burnley.

Last season, he temporarily took charge of Burnley during Kompany’s absence and continued in an interim role after Kompany’s departure for Bayern Munich. Returning to Wales holds personal significance for Craig Bellamy, having concluded his playing career with Cardiff City, where he helped secure Premier League promotion in 2014. His playing journey encompassed notable clubs such as Norwich, Newcastle, Celtic, Manchester City and Liverpool with international experience including representing Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics.

Despite narrowly missing out on the Wales manager role to Ryan Giggs in 2018, Bellamy’s readiness to take on the position is evident as he prepares to lead Wales in World Cup 2026 qualification. His managerial debut will begin with a Nations League match against Turkey on September 6, followed by an away fixture against Montenegro on September 9.