Petr Rada was on Thursday unveiled as the surprise choice to succeed Karel Bruckner as manager of the Czech Republic.
His first test will be a friendly against England at Wembley on August 20 followed by the first World Cup 2010 qualifier against Northern Ireland on September 10.
The FK Teplice coach’s appointment over favourite Jozef Chovanec was officially announced by the Czech football federation.
“It will be Petr Rada who replaces Karel Bruckner and who was for the last years his assistant,” the federation announced in a short statement following a meeting of its executive committee.
Rada ruled out major changes in the short term.
“There are many good players, the World Cup is approaching and there is not much room for big experiments,” he said in his first press conference.
He held out the possibility of a comeback for Czech record goal scorer Jan Koller, who announced his retirement from the national squad following the European Championships. “Honza (Jan) Koller said if we needed help he was prepared to give it.” Rada said.
There was no reason why a raft of other veteran players who announced the end of their national careers after the European Championships could not continue, he added.
But the new manager also hinted he would clamp down on lax player discipline.
“Some players have to realise they are professionals on and off the field,” he said.
Sparta Prague manager and former national coach Chovanec was the only other candidate for the post and was widely tipped to get the job and Rada admitted Thursday that he was the outsider for the job even up to the last minute,
Rada, as well as being Bruckner’s assistant, held the same position under Chovanec.
Before taking over at FK Teplice the 49-year-old Rada held managerial posts with several Czech clubs including Viktoria Pilsen and 2007 Czech cup finalists FK Jablonec.
Bruckner stepped down after the team’s early exit from Euro 2008.
Chovanec was national manager from 1998 until 2001 with his three-year reign ending when the Czechs were beaten by Belgium in a two-round play off for a place in the 2002 World Cup finals.
The third candidate in the race, German Klaus Toppmoller, dropped out Tuesday when the football federation announced that they could not agree to his conditions.
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