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Former Super League coaching target to lead new country in its first international

Shane Flanagan has been appointed as head coach of the Macedonian national side, with Paul Gallen his assistant.

Flanagan, who had once been touted as a target for the Leeds Rhinos as the West Yorkshire club looked to reshuffle their boardroom, according to the Daily Telegraph, had been deregistered by the NRL in 2019 for breaching a previous sanction.

“I just love coaching as a profession,” Flanagan previously said.

“I’ve done it for the last 20 years and I want to do it again, but we just need to get on with it and see what the next challenge is.

“When the time comes if its an assistant coach or head coaching role, I am good to go.”

This Sunday at the iconic Leichhardt Oval, however, things get serious for the duo when Macedonia plays its first full international against Malaysia.

“The boys train twice a week and are super keen – I’m excited for them,” assistant coach Gallen told the World Wide of Sports.

“‘Flanno’ got involved and he roped me in – I’ve got a couple of mates who are Macedonian and they are mad league fans.

“It’s great to spread the message and get league played in new places – this is the first step for us.

“The World Cup would be great and we are also aiming at the European Cup next year.”

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