BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — With two sporting icons onboard, it’s no surprise Birmingham is aiming for the top.
Co-owned by NFL great Tom Brady and now managed by former Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, the team from English soccer’s second division has set its sight on the Premier League.
And Rooney, who was presented by the club on Thursday, is relishing working with Brady, a seven-time Super Bowl champion.
“It’s great to have him at the football club. He’s very ambitious to move this club forward,” Rooney said. “It’s clear, he’s fully involved in developing the club.”
Brady became a minority owner of Birmingham in August and also holds a position as advisory board chair.
The 37-year-old Rooney won five league titles and the Champions League with United as a player. As a coach, he has taken charge of second-division team Derby County and MLS side D.C. United.
Now at Birmingham, he believes he can achieve his ambition of managing in England’s top flight by leading the Midlands club back to the Premier League for the first time since 2011.
“I want to be successful, it’s clear this club wants to be successful, and everything we spoke about really was very similar,” he said. “That’s the goal — for the club, for myself, is to get this club back to the Premier League, of course.
“The Premier League is where we want to get to. It’s an ambition of mine, one of the club’s, and we’re putting everything in place to make sure we do that in the near future.”
Birmingham is currently sixth in the Championship.
Rooney, who left his position as coach of MLS team D.C. United on Sunday after one season in charge, has named former Chelsea and England defender Ashley Cole and former United player John O’Shea among his coaching staff.
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