Paul Scholes appointed manager of League Two's Oldham Athletic

  • Scholes signs one-and-a-half year deal
  • Owner Abdallah Lemsagam pledges ‘100% backing’

Paul Scholes has been appointed the new manager of Oldham Athletic after signing a one-and-a-half-year deal.

The former Manchester United player held a coaching roles at Old Trafford but this is his first permanent manager position. Scholes is a part-owner of Salford City, but will step down from his role as director of the National League club. Scholes will bring in the former Latics coach Mick Priest as his assistant with his first match in charge Tuesday evening’s League Two encounter with Yeovil.

Scholes revealed he had thought long and hard about embarking on a managerial career and was delighted to get started. “I couldn’t be any happier at the minute,” he said. “It’s been a while. Obviously there’s been talk of it when I finished my [playing] career. It wasn’t something I was quite ready to do and there’s obviously been three or four times over the last six years where it could have happened and I’ve not been quite ready. But now I feel, I hope, the time is right to give it a go and hopefully we can be successful together.

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“I want my team to be aggressive and focused on winning first and foremost. I know it’s not going to happen every week, but I go into every game expecting to win. I go into every game expecting my team to entertain, I want to be entertained on the side and plenty of fans want to be entertained and I’ll be thinking about scoring goals.

“I’ve prepared for Yeovil, I’ve seen them a few times. It’s a funny league. Any team can beat anybody, we know that and Yeovil are on quite a bad run, while we had a great win on Saturday, so there’s not much to change.”

Scholes is unveiled.
Scholes is unveiled. Photograph: Christopher Thomond/The Guardian

Oldham’s owner, Abdallah Lemsagam, added: “Paul has won everything there is to win in football. He is a man who will bring a lot of footballing knowledge and his hunger to succeed in management will be there for everyone to see.

“It’s no secret how much he has wanted this job in the past and how much he loves this club, so I’m very happy to bring him into our family at Oldham Athletic. Paul will have my backing 100% and hopefully we can work together to bring success back to this club.”

At United, Scholes was a reserve-team coach under Sir Alex Ferguson before he came out of retirement in January 2012 to resume his playing career. When retiring for good in May 2013, Scholes took coaching positions when David Moyes managed the club and briefly when Ryan Giggs was interim manager for four games at the close of the 2013-14 campaign, after the former was sacked. More recently Scholes has been working as a TV pundit.