Wigan Athletic full-time role a 'privilege' for Leam Richardson
‘Pleased. Privileged. Proud.’
Leam Richardson’s thoughts after being confirmed as Wigan Athletic’s permanent manager.
The 41-year-old has been rewarded for steering the ship, on an interim basis, through the choppiest waters imaginable over the last 10 months.
But with Latics within touching distance of safety – and contemplating a bright future under new owners Phoenix 2021 Limited – Richardson has accepted the challenge of taking long-term charge of the rebuild.
And in his first interview since accepting the job, Richardson could not hide his determination to continue the progress on and off the field.
“I feel very privileged to be in this position,” he said. “Obviously I’ve been at the club for some time, and seen plenty of things already.
“It’s a club that’s obviously got a rich history, in terms of players and managers, and a fanbase desperate to support it going forwards.
“To be standing here and calling myself the Wigan Athletic manager is a very pleasing and very proud day for me and my family.”
Richardson has regularly been asked about his long-term future throughout the season – with speculation linking him with Ipswich – but was expected to wait until the summer before deciding.
The new owners, though, wanted to reward his sterling efforts in keeping the club’s head above water in League One.
And Richardson says their vision for the future fits perfectly with his own.
“I was introduced to Mal (Brannigan, CEO), and found him, the board and the owners very supportive right from the off.
“With the affiliation I had with the club and what we’ve been through, it was a good fit in terms of progression with my own career.
“The club and the ambition, wanting to work hard and desperate for success, matches everything in terms of what I stand for.
“I wouldn’t say it’s daunting, it’s far more exciting as I look ahead to the task.
“I look around the DW Stadium, and I can see the great players and great managers who have plied their trade here to make this club what it is.
“If I can achieve even half of what those before me have achieved, I’ll feel very privileged indeed.
“I’m incredibly grateful to Mal and the board for giving me this opportunity, and I hope I can make them proud.”
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