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Ex-Wales midfielder Robinson to coach A-League’s Wanderers

October 15, 2020 GMT
FILE - In this Aug. 26, 2017, file photo, Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson gestures to an official during the first half of an MLS soccer match against Orlando City, in Orlando, Fla. Former Wales midfielder Robinson has been hired as coach of the Western Sydney Wanderers in Australia's A-League Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 26, 2017, file photo, Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson gestures to an official during the first half of an MLS soccer match against Orlando City, in Orlando, Fla. Former Wales midfielder Robinson has been hired as coach of the Western Sydney Wanderers in Australia's A-League Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

SYDNEY (AP) — Former Wales midfielder Carl Robinson has been hired as coach of the Western Sydney Wanderers three days after the A-League team fired Jean-Paul de Marigny.

The Wanderers received permission from the Newcastle Jets to approach Robinson on Wednesday. Robinson was head coach at the Jets for seven months.

Robinson represented Wales 52 times from 1999 to 2009. He played for English clubs including Wolverhampton Wanderers, Sunderland and Norwich City and later made 74 appearances for Toronto FC in the MLS before finishing his playing career at New York Red Bulls.

He also coached MLS club Vancouver Whitecaps from 2013-18.

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In February, Robinson replaced Ernie Merrick at Newcastle on a 3 1-2 year deal and quickly improved the Jets on the field, leading them to six wins, three draws and one loss when the season resumed after a coronarivus shutdown. The Jets fell just short of finishing in the top six and the playoffs.

Former Scottish international Kenny Miller will join Robinson as a first-team assistant coach. The pair have a history together following stints together at the Wolves and with the Whitecaps.

“Sometimes in football you get an opportunity too good to turn down,” Robinson said. “This is a fantastic football club, a big club in the A-League and one that has set the foundations to be very successful.

“There is an expectation of winning that is clear and that is what I am here to do.”

Robinson becomes Western Sydney’s fourth full-time coach in as many seasons as they look to recapture the form of the club’s early days under Tony Popovic.

Founded in 2012, the Wanderers won a premiers’ plate for finishing first during the regular season, made three A-League grand finals and won the 2014 Asian Champions League.

Inaugural coach Popovic quit days before the start of the 2017-18 season. Since, Western Sydney has not made the finals in the three seasons while arch-rivals Sydney FC have won two championships and two premierships.

Josep Gombau and Markus Babbel have also been coaches since Popovic’s departure, while de Marigny spent just 12 games as coach — seven as interim and five as full-time. He spent just three months in the full-time role.

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