Former Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce has been confirmed as the full-time coach of the England U-21 side.

Pearce agreed a two-year contract with the Football Association, which puts him in charge until the 2009 European U-21 Championship in Sweden.

He staked his claim for the job by taking England to the semi-finals of the tournament last month in the Netherlands, where they lost in a marathon penalty shootout to the hosts.

He was handed the role on a part-time basis earlier in the year, but was effectively full-time after getting sacked by City the day after the English Premiership season finished.

"The fact it's a full-time role excites me. Looking to the future it will more helpful," said Pearce. "Every game you learn as a manager, I'm a wiser man than I was two years ago."