Givens appointed team coach at Arsenal

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THE FORMER Republic of Ireland striker Don Givens has been appointed as Arsenal's new youth team coach.

The 47-year-old ex-Manchester United, Luton, QPR and Birmingham front man has returned to England after four years as a coach at leading Swiss side Neuchatel Xamax.

Givens' 19 goals for the Republic of Ireland were a national record for 10 years before it was beaten by Arsenal old-boy Frank Stapleton.

Liam Brady, Arsenal's head of youth development, opted for Givens after last week's departure of Tom Walley.

"We're very pleased to be able to bring somebody of Don's capabilities into our coaching set-up," said Brady, still revered by the older Highbury regulars.

"Arsenal has a tremendous record for producing homegrown talent and this is something we are determined to continue.

"Don's wide experience and expertise can only benefit our youngsters."

Graduates of Arsenal's youth academy include Tony Adams, Paul Merson, Ray Parlour and Stephen Hughes, and Givens, a UEFA-qualified coach, aims to build on those traditions.

"I'm delighted to be joining Arsenal," said Givens. "The club places a great deal of importance on the youth set-up and has devised a comprehensive development programme for its youngsters.

"I am looking forward to playing my part in the new Premier League Youth competition."

Middlesbrough's Juninho has given the firmest indication yet that he favours a move to Spain. "It would be easier to get back in the Brazil squad if I play in Spain. At home more Spanish football is watched than Brazilian."

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