Wales - Speed's dream lives on

Assistant boss Verheijen keen to stay involved with team

Gary Speed: Manager's dream to reach 2014 World Cup can be realised, according to Raymond Verheijen

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Assistant manager Raymond Verheijen hopes Wales can fulfil Gary Speed's dream of qualifying for the next World Cup in Brazil.

Speed was found dead at his home on 27th November in news that has shocked the world of football.

Dutchman Verheijen worked alongside Speed with the Wales national team and wants to play a part in taking them through the difficult period that lies ahead.

The Dragons made considerable progress under Speed over the past few months and Verheijen feels it would be a fantastic achievement to make it through to the 2014 World Cup in honour of Speed.

"He gave the Welsh football fans their pride back. We as a staff now have the duty and privilege to fulfil Gary's dream to qualify for Brazil 2014," Verheijen told the Daily Telegraph.

"The current staff was his staff. He selected these people. They are an integral part of his legacy.

Sleeping giant

"Everyone who knows how we have worked this year will understand that Osian Roberts and myself have to guide and continue the process Gary started 12 months ago.

"We have to do this together with Wales National Team Operations Manager Adrian Davies who was appointed by Gary seven months ago and who can tell everyone how the process has developed from A to Z. This is exactly what Gary would have expected us to do and everybody will respect Gary's wish."

Verheijen has enjoyed his time with Wales since being brought in by Speed in February and feels they have the potential to achieve great things.

"Wales is a sleeping giant,'' he said. "You can feel the passion and desire of the people.

"Only a few weeks ago I was telling the players that of all the countries I have worked with, I have never before seen so many young and talented players in a squad at the same time.

"The last 12 months with Wales and Gary have been special to me. The singing of the national anthem in the Millennium before the England game and also the Welsh fans in the empty stadium in Sofia made me realise how special it is to work for Wales."