Nelsen looks long-term at Toronto
Wednesday 9 Jan 2013 5:50 p.m.
Ryan Nelsen has had his first day on the job as head coach of Toronto FC.
The All Whites skipper's new role was made official, after which he got to work planning the team’s season in the MLS.
There was a Kiwi hello as Nelsen met the Toronto media. His signing as coach of the Major League Soccer team while still playing in the Premier League was clearly big news in Canada's largest city.
As Nelsen told 3 News, it was the perfect time to make the move.
“It's always been on the agenda,” says Nelsen. “When this opportunity arrived, it just felt right.”
That feeling was literally in Nelsen's bones. At 35, he readily admits to having “glass” knees.
“The body has been telling me for a long time now. You have talked to a lot of players at the end of their careers in a lot of sports, and they know deep down, and it just feels right for me.”
How Queens Park manager Harry Redknapp feels will have a strong bearing on when his key defender takes up the Toronto role full time.
With the club desperate to move off of the bottom of the Premier League table, it's uncertain just when Nelsen will be released.
“I've just got to have a conversation with Harry and Tony Fernandes,” says Nelsen. “They've been absolutely fantastic with this. They understand my situation. I understand their situation, and we’re not in a very nice situation.”
The situation in Toronto is identical to QPR – the team dead last in the 2012 season.
“The reality is that they've had five wins and conceded 66 goals. It's not ideal but it's a challenge, and it felt like a really exciting opportunity.”
Job security could be a challenge - Toronto has gone through seven coaches in as many seasons. Nelsen has taken a longer term approach, signing a three-year contract .