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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 8, 2006

Lee turns down U21 job and quits England

Bolton assistant manager Sammy Lee has turned down an offer to become full-time England Under-21 coach and will sever all ties with the national team to focus on his role at the Reebok Stadium.

New national team boss Steve McClaren had offered Lee the job of full-time under-21 boss instead of the part-time assistant coaching role with the senior team he had under Sven-Goran Eriksson.

But Lee has opted to stand down altogether in order to concentrate on his duties alongside Bolton manager Sam Allardyce.

Lee said he wanted to demonstrate his 'total commitment' to Bolton.

'Over the past couple of weeks I have been in discussions with the FA and new England head coach Steve McClaren regarding the position of under-21s coach and the possibility of it being a full-time role.

'After a number of days deliberating my future, and the fact that I am very flattered to be considered for the full-time post, I would like to show my total commitment to Bolton Wanderers Football Club by declining the offer.

'Over the past decade I have enjoyed my time at the FA immensely. It has been a great honour to be involved with such a dynamic organisation and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the players, both at senior level and Under-21s, who I have had the pleasure working with over the past few years,' he told the FA's website.

'My objectives are and always have been firmly with Bolton Wanderers Football Club and Sam Allardyce. I will be working hard to continue the success story achieved at the Reebok Stadium over the past few years as we continue to progress amongst the elite of English football.

'Finally, I would like to wish Steve McClaren and his team every success in the years ahead in what will be an exciting era for the England team.'

McClaren, who will name his backroom staff on Friday, said: 'I've always enjoyed working with Sammy over the past five years, but I believe the time is right to make certain changes to the senior team coaching staff.

'I hope that I can make the under-21 coaching position a full-time role. I'm currently discussing this with the FA.

'With Peter Taylor continuing as part-time under-21s coach alongside his role as Crystal Palace manager, I had discussed the possibility of a full-time role with Sammy.

'However, I fully respect Sammy's decision to focus his full attention on his role with Bolton Wanderers, and would like to wish him every success in the future.'