Carl Robinson: Globetrotting coach still hopes to manage Wales

Carl Robinson (right) was a Wales team-mate of Ryan Giggs (left)

Having already coached on both sides of the world, Carl Robinson still plans to return home and one day manage Wales.

Currently in charge of Australian side Newcastle Jets, he considered UK and international jobs after being sacked by Vancouver Whitecaps in 2018.

But Robinson did not apply for the Wales job after Chris Coleman left.

“No, I never applied for the Wales job because I’m not ready for it,” he told the Elis James Feast of Football podcast.

Robinson’s former Wales team-mate Ryan Giggs succeeded Coleman in 2018 after a recruitment process during which another former international Craig Bellamy was also interviewed.

Robinson, who won 52 caps for Wales, was also linked to the job, but it was not something he considered at the time.

“My belief is I’m a club manager and I was learning the ropes,” the former Sunderland and Wolves midfielder said.

“People will go ‘Well, Gary Speed’s first job was an international’. Cookie [Coleman] had obviously been around, been a bit of a journeyman in relation to jobs, and Giggs’ first job was Wales and I know Bellers [Bellamy] applied.

“And they should apply because Welsh coaches are proud to manage Wales but I was in a job and I never had any intention.

“Having said that, I want to manage Wales one day. When that time is I can’t tell you because circumstances dictate that.

“Would it be something I would do later on down the line? Yes, without a doubt.”

Carl Robinson won 52 senior caps for Wales, scoring once in 2005’s 3-2 win over Northern Ireland

Robinson’s globetrotting career

Llandrindod Wells-born Robinson had a much-travelled playing career that included Wolves, Portsmouth, Sunderland and Norwich.

In 2007 he moved to North America, first playing for Toronto in the MLS before becoming a player-coach at New York Red Bulls.

He then returned to Canada with Vancouver as an assistant and was promoted to Whitecaps head coach in 2014, before leaving in September 2018 after three play-off appearances.

In 2019 he turned down an offer to become manager of Costa Rica before signing a three-and-a-half year deal with A-League side Newcastle in February 2020.

“There were conversations, I could have got back into management at club level very quickly,” he said.

“I could have got into management at international level, I spoke to some federations about possible jobs but it didn’t feel quite right.

“Then I got the itch in January and then the Newcastle job [came up] and I just thought you know I’ve never been to Australia, I like the idea of it, I understand the salary cap mechanism.

“It’s different, you know I watched six months of football in Australia and I thought I can go over and make a difference because at the end of the day I want to win.

“We all do it for a job, but people have got to win. I’ve got that mentality in me, so I’ve come here to win but who knows when I’ll be back.”

Robinson is insistent that he will one day return to coach in Britain, but admits it may not be a direct route.

“I will come back, but what I’ve said all along is when I come back, I’m coming back for good,” he added.

“I’m coming back with my family and I’m going to commit myself to being a success over there [the UK].

“What I can’t tell you is when, because my next journey is in Australia. I like the sound of the Asia route – Japan, Korea – because tactically these guys think of the game differently.

“I also like the Mexico route because I think they bring something different.

“Having said that I might not go there because the opportunity might come back at home, but I think the more experience I can gain, different countries, different tactics, different cultures will stand me in good stead to come back home to Britain.

“I know what British football is about because you get six games.

“If you lose six games in a row in the Championship you’re probably hanging by a thread, so you need to be physically mentally prepared and be clear with what you want as a manager and know what you are getting into because some people don’t get one chance and if you get one chance in the Championship you need to nail it.”

BBC News