Belfast Telegraph

Magyars appoint third boss in a year

By Stuart McKinley

Northern Ireland's Euro 2016 rivals Hungary have appointed German Bernd Storck as their third manager in less than 12 months.

The 52-year-old former Borussia Dortmund defender has been promoted to Head Coach of the senior international team from his position in charge of the Hungarian under-19 team after a successful run to the last 16 in the Under-20 World Cup last month.

He has now been handed the responsibility of trying to guide the Magyars to the finals of Euro 2016 in France next summer.

The Hungarians were plunged into a search for a new coach after previous boss Pal Dardai was forced to relinquish the post when he was handed the job as first team manager of Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin.

Dardai stepped into the national team role last September following the sacking of Attila Pinter, just a matter of days after Hungary were beaten 2-1 by Northern Ireland in Budapest in the opening game of the Euro 2016 campaign.

At the time Dardai was a youth coach at Hertha, but he was promoted on a short-term deal after Dutchman Jos Luhukay was sacked in February.

Hertha were happy to let Dardai stay in situ with Hungary for the scoreless draw at home to Greece in March and June's 1-0 victory in Finland, but after handing him a long-term contract they refused to sanction an agreement to let him continue with the national team in a part-time role.

Hungarian FA President Sandor Csanyi said: "Bernd Storck demonstrated at the Under-20 World Cup that the German football culture and professional know-how can mean serious help for Hungarian football."

Storck has previous international management experience, having been in charge of Kazakhstan from 2008 to 2010, winning two of his nine games before being sacked following a poor start to the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.

Hungary are currently third in Group F, two points behind Northern Ireland and three adrift of Romania after six games.

Storck is being thrown in at the deep end, with a key double-header approaching in September, with a home game against Romania followed just three days later by a trip to Windsor Park, when Northern Ireland could potentially seal qualification.

Belfast Telegraph


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