Rada replaces Bruckner
© AFP

Petr Rada was unveiled as the surprise choice to succeed Karel Bruckner as manager of the Czech Republic on Thursday.

His first test will be a friendly against England at Wembley on 20 August followed by the first 2010 FIFA World Cup™ qualifier against Northern Ireland on 10 September.

The FK Teplice coach's appointment over favourite Jozef Chovanec was officially announced by the Czech football federation.

"It will be Petr Rada who replaces Karel Bruckner and who was for the last years his assistant," the federation announced in a short statement following a meeting of its executive committee.

Sparta Prague manager and former national coach Chovanec was the only other candidate for the post and was widely tipped to get the job.

Rada, as well as being Bruckner's assistant held the same position under Chovanec.

Before taking over at FK Teplice the 49-year-old Rada held managerial posts with several Czech clubs including Viktoria Pilsen and 2007 Czech cup finalists FK Jablonec.

Bruckner stepped down after the team's early exit from UEFA EURO 2008.

Chovanec was national manager from 1998 until 2001 with his three year reign ending when the Czechs were beaten by Belgium in a two-round play off for a place in the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals.

The third candidate in the race, German Klaus Toppmoller, dropped out Tuesday when the football federation announced that they could not agree to his conditions.