Hyypia named Brighton boss
Former Liverpool defender Sami Hyypia has been announced as the new manager of Sky Bet Championship side Brighton after penning a three-year deal at the American Express Community Stadium.
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The 40-year-old was sacked by German outfit Bayer Leverkeusen in April but will now embark on a managerial career in England after being named as Oscar Garcia's replacement.
Hyypia, who won two FA Cups and the Champions League during his decade at Anfield, revealed he had taken an in-depth look at Brighton before deciding on accepting the position with the south coast side.
"I've held extensive talks with the chairman Tony Bloom and chief executive Paul Barber," he said.
"I have looked at the club from top to bottom and I am very impressed by what I've seen at all levels."
Brighton have been looking for a new boss since accepting Garcia's offer of resignation following their play-off semi-final defeat to Derby.
Hyypia had been performing as a joint-manager of Leverkusen until last summer when he was handed sole control of first-team affairs at the BayArena, but he could not last the season and was sacked on April 5.
Having collected 105 caps for his native Finland and having enjoyes years of collecting silverware at Liverpool, Hyypia is keen to continue his successful career and believes Brighton are showing a similar desire.
"The chairman is ambitious and for me that is absolutely key," he said.
"I am now looking forward to the challenge ahead and our aim is to take the club forward to the next level.
"I've seen the Amex Stadium and the club's new training ground and they are among the best I've seen anywhere in the world.
"I've also already met some of the key staff including Nathan Jones, the club's head of football David Burke, and Dr Helge Riepenhoff, head of medical and sports science, and I am very much looking forward to working with all of them."
Chairman Tony Bloom revealed Hyypia was the stand-out name from what he called a "wealth of very high-calibre applicants" and has backed the new manager to succeed, with promotion to the Barclays Premier League likely to be Hyypia's remit.
"We are very excited to have appointed Sami as our new manager," said Bloom.
"He has already had a distinguished career in the game, having played and managed at the very top. As we have said previously we had a wealth of very high calibre applicants.
"Paul and I undertook an extensive and diligent evaluation of the contenders and Sami was the one who emerged as our number-one choice.
"I would like to thank the fans for their patience during this time. I know the fans were keen to see a new manager in place quickly, but it was vital to take our time.
"I am extremely confident that Sami will be a big success at Brighton, and I am sure the fans will share our delight at his appointment."