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Friday August 23, 2013 MYT 3:37:01 AM
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Middlesbrough's coach Gareth Southgate gestures during their English Premier League soccer match against Aston Villa in Middlesbrough May 16, 2009. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis
(Reuters) - Former England international Gareth Southgate was appointed head coach of the country's Under-21 team on Thursday to succeed Stuart Pearce whose contract was not renewed after a dismal showing at June's European championship.
The FA said in a statement that Southgate, who managed Middlesbrough from 2006 to 2009 in the Premier League and after their relegation to the Championship, had signed a three-year contract.
"I'm delighted to get this role and extremely excited about the prospect of working with the best and brightest young players in the country," Southgate said on the FA website (www.thefa.com).
"I'm a proud Englishman and playing for my country was the pinnacle of my playing career. Since retiring as a player I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience of the game both here and abroad, and I'm eager to play my part in preparing players to compete at the highest level."
England lost all three of their group matches in this year's Under-21 European championship in Israel, costing former England defender Pearce his job.
(Reporting by Sonia Oxley; Editing by Rex Gowar)
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