CARDIFF: Chris Coleman, basking in the success of Wales’s run to the Euro 2016 semi-finals, said Friday the upcoming 2018 World Cup campaign will be his last as manager.
The 46-year-old, who took Wales to their first finals since the 1958 World Cup and then oversaw a superb campaign only ended on Wednesday by a Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired Portugal, said he would have been in the job long enough.
“I am sure this will be my last campaign whether we qualify or not (for Russia),” said Coleman, whose contract runs to the end of the next World Cup, with his team playing their first qualifier at home to Moldova on September 5.
Wales’s success has seen Coleman linked with a return to club management, but he dismissed that happening any time soon.
“That will be six or seven years in the job, which is a long time. So I think this will be my last hit at it so I will give it my best shot, but I would not consider going anywhere else,” he said.
“I want to see this through. There’s success in this team, I think, because they’re at a good age. But I’ll certainly give everything I’ve got in this next campaign. I’ll make sure they do.”
Coleman, whose club managerial experience had taken him from England to Spain and Greece yielding little in the way of results, only took up the role in January 2012 after the tragic suicide of his childhood friend Gary Speed, who was Wales’s manager at the time of his death.
Five months earlier, Wales had fallen to their lowest world ranking of 117th and, despite making the worst start of any Wales manager with four defeats from his first four games, Coleman is now guiding his country through its most successful era.