WELLINGTON: New Zealand captain Ryan Nelsen said on Wednesday he will take up the coaching reins at Toronto FC next month, ending his playing career with both the All Whites and England’s Queens Park Rangers. Nelsen signed on as manager of the Major League Soccer side Toronto earlier this month, but it was unclear when he would begin his new duties as his QPR contract did not end until June 30.
QPR manager Harry Redknapp was keen for him to stay and help the Premier League side fight relegation but the 35-year-old said in a statement that he will join Toronto full-time on Feb.1. Nelsen also called time on his international career with the All Whites, admitting that age was catching up with him.
“When you’re not enjoying the playing side as much as other aspects of football, you know it is time to move on,” he said.
“That time is now and I want to commit all my energies into my coaching career with Toronto FC.”
Nelsen led New Zealand at the 2010 World Cup, where his team of part-timers and journeymen held the then-champions Italy to a 1-1 draw before exiting in the group stages.