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Football: Thanks, Tosh; Wales coach puts a word in for Chris at Sociedad.

Byline: By MARK CURRIE Chief Sports Writer

CHRIS COLEMAN will be confirmed as coach to Spanish side Real Sociedad tomorrow after agreeing a three-year contract with the club's president and admitting he was excited by the new challenge.

Sociedad president Maria De La Pena announced the arrival of the former Fulham boss at a press conference staged yesterday at the club's Anoeta stadium, but the decision has to be rubber-stamped by a new board which is meeting for the first time in this morning.

"He will bring freshness and new ideas and the main aim will obviously be to return to the Primera Liga," she said.

Real Sociedad, who were relegated last season for the first time in 40 years, will then unveil the 37-year-old Welshman at a Press conference next week alongside new sporting director Salva Iriarte, a former Sociedad coach who has been assistant to Wales manager John Toshack since he took charge of the national team nearly two years ago.'

Coleman said: "I have been out having talks in San Sebastian for,7 the past three days.

"The talks have been very, very positive, but I have not signed a contract yet.

"I want to do it, and the club wants to do it, but as yet I have not put pen to aper.

"I have been very im-pressed by the president and directors of Sociedad, and what they had to say.

"It's a fantastic and massive club, and a big, big challenge. The talks went well for both parties."

Toshack, who is a popular figure at the Basque giants having coached them on three occasions, was instrumental in the appointment of Coleman after himself turning down the chance of a fourth stint in charge.

The Wales boss, who still has a house in San Sebastian, rejected the club's offer of a role as sporting director, but was quick to recommend his countryman for the position of coach.

Coleman's representative, Alan Smith, hailed Toshack's influence.

"They've really pushed the boat out," Smith said.

"John Toshack has recommended Chris - he's been very positive.

Toshack is still a major hero out there and it's a magnificent club.

"When you see the training facilities, it doesn't get much better."

Toshack was in San Sebastian to welcome Coleman and familiarise his friend with the city this week.

Coleman arrived on Tuesday morning and was given a guided tour of the area by Toshack, who later accompanied him on a tour of the club's training ground in Zubi-eta.

Coleman spent four-and-a-half years at Fulham, but was replaced by Lawrie Sanchez at Craven Cottage towards the end of last season following a poor run of results.

CAPTION(S):

Former Fulham boss Chris Coleman will be unveiled to the Spanish media as the new Real Sociedad manager next week; John Toshack
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 29, 2007
Words:467
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