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Coleman relishing first game in charge
Published : 26 May 2012 14:17:05
Wales manager Chris Coleman cannot wait to realise his dream of managing his country when he takes charge for the first time against Mexico in New York on Sunday.
Coleman, 41, was named as the successor to Gary Speed in January but elected to take a background role for the friendly held in Speed's memory against Costa Rica a month later as Osian Roberts led the side.
The former Fulham boss' gracious decision to hand Roberts control has meant a long wait for his first fixture in control of the national side.
But it will finally arrive when the Dragons face a Mexico squad including Manchester United's Javier Hernandez and West Ham's Pablo Barrera, and lying 21 places above them in the world rankings, at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.
And, with Wales having flown out to America at the start of the week to give them more time to acclimatise, Coleman is itching for the action to start.
Coleman said: "Managing my country was something I always dreamed of doing since I became a manager. That time will come on Sunday.
"I'm very excited about leading Wales and I just want to get started. It's a new experience and I'm keen to learn. The game can't come around quick enough.
"As an international manager, there are a lot of off-the-field things that you need to do.
"But being with the squad and preparing the players for match-day is the most enjoyable bit."
Coleman has been deprived of the services of star midfielders Gareth Bale and Joe Ledley through injury, although he has been boosted by the presence of Craig Bellamy, who had appeared set to retire from international duty.