‘I needed more’: Craig Bellamy reveals how Burnley exit came about as he's unveiled as Wales boss

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New Wales boss Craig Bellamy says he was happy at Burnley but “needed more”.
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New Burnley boss Scott Parker issues response to mixed reaction to his appointme...

The 44-year-old left his role as assistant at Turf Moor this week to take over as the manager of his national side.

Bellamy had been in the running to take the number one role at Burnley, but the Clarets opted to go for two-time Championship promotion winner Scott Parker instead.

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While it was hoped the Welshman would remain part of Parker’s backroom staff, Bellamy has since left to take on his dream role.

Speaking during his media unveiling on Wednesday morning, Bellamy said: “I’ve got to be honest, timing in football…you don’t always get that luxury. But the last three or four months it sort of became clear to me that I was happy, but I needed more.

“It became clear to me I needed to look for a number one spot for me as a person and for my progression.

“I didn’t know what that was going to be at that time. I was working with Vincent [Kompany] during that period, obviously Bayern Munich came up but it was still my option to become a number one.

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HULL, ENGLAND - MARCH 15: Craig Bellamy, Assistant Manager of Burnley gives the team instructions during the Sky Bet Championship between Hull City and Burnley at MKM Stadium on March 15, 2023 in Hull, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)HULL, ENGLAND - MARCH 15: Craig Bellamy, Assistant Manager of Burnley gives the team instructions during the Sky Bet Championship between Hull City and Burnley at MKM Stadium on March 15, 2023 in Hull, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
HULL, ENGLAND - MARCH 15: Craig Bellamy, Assistant Manager of Burnley gives the team instructions during the Sky Bet Championship between Hull City and Burnley at MKM Stadium on March 15, 2023 in Hull, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

“I really made it clear to myself this is what it was going to be, this is how I’m going to go about it and obviously the situation changed with Wales.

“I was still looking at club level, but I have to be honest it can drag you. Wales has always been really important to me, I’ve spent a lot of my career away from here as well and obviously I’ve had certain periods where I’ve been here. But I was born here and the opportunity to lead your national team is rare. To get it as your first opportunity, it became clear to me if there was an opportunity, then this is the one I wanted.”

Bellamy takes the Wales role off the back of a difficult campaign working under Kompany at Burnley, where the Clarets were relegated with just 24 points.

But Bellamy insists he learned more from last season than he did the 101-point title win in the Championship the previous year.

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“I’ve just had two seasons,” he added. “The first season we were winning every week, dominating a league in a manner that is quite rare in a very difficult league.

“We then went into the Premier League and we were losing most weeks, so I’ve seen the level of how you learn and basically, you learn a lot more when you’re losing. I’m clearer now than what I was the season before.

“You have to take the rough with the smooth, there’s no emotional rollercoasters and you have to stay calm through it all. That’s something I’ve been able to pick up and cherish.”

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