SPORTS

New Greece coach Ranieri promises to give youth a chance

By Graham Wood

Claudio Ranieri has promised to give young players a chance after being officially presented as the new coach of Greece.

The much-travelled Italian signed a two-year deal in July to have his first crack at international coaching after the contract of his predecessor Fernando Santos expired following the World Cup in Brazil.

Under Santos, Greece reached the last 16 for the first time before losing to Costa Rica on penalties.

"I'm very happy to coach the national team of Greece and, although I had other proposals, I chose this one operating on instinct,» Ranieri told a news conference on Friday.

"I came here to take the team as high as possible. Our immediate aim is to qualify for Euro 2016 in France - it won't be easy but we have the potential and the talent to succeed.

"It's a great challenge. I believe in young players and there will be ample opportunities for them to show their potential,» added the 62-year-old former coach of Monaco, Chelsea, Valencia, Parma, Juventus, AS Roma and Inter Milan.

"I am very interested in working with the younger players, who are the future of the team, and I will be in contact with the clubs in an effort to work with them on a regular basis."

Ranieri's first match in charge will be a home Euro 2016 qualifier against Romania on September 7.

[Reuters]

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