Dietmar Hamann takes over as Stockport County boss
Dietmar Hamann has taken over as the new manager of Stockport County.
The ex-Newcastle, Liverpool, Manchester City and Germany midfielder replaces Ray Mathias, who is considering whether to remain at the club.
The appointment of Hamann, 37, on a one-year deal comes following the takeover of the club by a Liverpool-based consortium, headed by Tony Evans.
Hamann spent last season working on the coaching staff at Leicester City under Sven Goran Eriksson.
"I have been working in a coaching capacity for the last year," Hamann told BBC Radio Manchester. "And I have spent a lot of time with Sven over the last three months.
"I spoke to Sven about it and he'd like to have kept me for another season.
"But the time is right to make a fresh start at a club with a good fanbase and I see it as a great opportunity.
"Being in the Conference is not where we want to be but the target is to bring the club back to the Football League.
"I first heard about the interest last week, thought about it over the weekend.
"It's new territory but it's what I always wanted to do."
Evans, who has the option of talking a majority share in the club, heads a new consortium of business people set to invest at Edgeley Park.
"Let's see if we can make a difference at Stockport County," said Evans.
"Perople have asked 'why Stockport County?' Well, for starters, it's the club closest to the River Mersey," he pointed out with a smile.
"But, being serious, they shouldn't be where they are and we think that's down to a lack of leadership.
"We think we can rectify that and bring them back to where they should be, League One pushing on the Championship.
"And Didi Hamann is respected by everyone in the game. When he speaks, you listen. Nobody's got a bad word for him and I think he's going to make a difference."
Hamann, who enjoyed the pinnacle of his career with Liverpool in Istanbul in 2005 when he came on as a half-time substitute to help turn round a 3-0 deficit and win the Champions League final, will start his managerial career in the Conference.
That follows Stockport's relegation in May - to end a 105-year tenure in the Football League.
Hamann's first competitive match in charge will be at Forest Green Rovers on 13 August.