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Stuart Baxter (born 16 August 1953) is a Scottish football manager and former player. He is currently managing the Finland national football team.

Career

Playing career

Baxter, who has a Scottish father and an Englishmarker mother, was born in Wolverhamptonmarker and began his playing career with in 1971. He later moved north to Scotlandmarker to join before returning to England with . Baxter then moved to Swedenmarker, Australia and the United Statesmarker respectively with Helsingborgs IF, South Melbourne FC and San Diego Sockers. His playing career ended in 1983. Although born in England, Baxter was brought up in Scotland and considers himself Scottish.

Coaching

Baxter returned to Scandinavia to begin his coaching career; he worked with √Ėrebro SK's youth team. In 1986, he was appointed manager of minor Norwegianmarker side Idrettsforeningen Skarp. The following year he landed a larger managerial role with Portuguesemarker team Vit√≥ria de Set√ļbal before returning to Sweden for a three stint at Halmstads BK between 1988 and 1991. In his first year with Halmstads he guided them to promotion to the Allsvenskan but the club was relegated at the end of his tenure. Baxter moved to Japanmarker to first coach Sanfrecce Hiroshima, between 1992 and 1994, and then Vissel Kobe, in 1997.

In 1998, Baxter was bought back to Sweden by AIK Solna, where he guided them to the Swedish championship. Having qualified for the UEFA Champions League, Baxter took AIK into the group stages where the Swedish champions played against some of Europe's largest teams, such as FC Barcelona, and Fiorentina. Unsurprisingly, AIK finished bottom of the group. After two years, he moved to Norwegian side Lyn Oslo.

Baxter was hired by the Football Association to coach the England Under-19 national team in 2002. After two years, he was hired as South Africa's manager. By autumn 2005, he quit this role having failed to qualify for the 2006 World Cup. He later had another short spell at Vissel Kobe before moving back to Helsingborgs, this time as manager in 2006. He took the Swedish side past the group stages of the UEFA Cup in 2007 but he resigned at the end of the year.

At the beginning of 2008, he was appointed manager of Finland on a two-year contract. In January 2009 it was announced that he has signed an extended contract that will keep him in charge of the Finland team through the 2012 European Championships campaign.

Family

He has a son, Lee, who is also a former professional football player and now a goalkeeping-coach.

References


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