Michael Skubala says two decades carving out one of the most diverse coaching careers in English football has him ready to be Lincoln City boss.
The 41-year-old left his role as Leeds' under-21 head coach to take his first permanent job in senior management.
He had a spell as interim boss at Leeds in the Premier League last season, having also previously worked as England futsal head coach.
"I've taken an eclectic route," Skubala told BBC Radio Lincolnshire.
"But it's also been a hard-working route to have the opportunities.
"I've never wanted to rush into first-team football. I wanted to get the first one right.
"I wanted to be ready, and I spent 20 years trying to get ready. Some might say that's a bit too long, but I've wanted to be ready for the step."
When still playing non-league football, Skubala started out coaching in academies part-time at Nottingham Forest and Coventry City while jugging a fledgling career as a PE teacher.
A chance to play futsal in Thailand saw him shift his interest to the sport, something that eventually earned him a move to the Football Association to head up the national side.
"I was twin tracking with two elements of the game, then found my way to the FA and it was a brilliant experience," he said.
Taking charge of England's under-18 side saw him refocus on football, before going on to join Leeds' under-21 set-up - a move that led to a surprise promotion to first-team caretaker boss when Jesse Marsch was sacked in February.
"I learn well, perform well and I work hard every day," Skubala said.
"And I think I'm ready for all my experiences I've had - from working under different managers, being first-team coach and seeing it at Premier League level from the touchline at Old Trafford in front of 75,000 people - and think I know the level of what it takes as a manager.
"It's always been an ambition, but I've tried to be patient with my own journey."
Skubala takes over a Lincoln City side that are ninth in the League One and just four points adrift of the play-off spots.
His first game in charge of the Imps will be against Stevenage, a game that comes a month to the day after his predecessor Mark Kennedy was sacked.
Lincoln chairman Clive Nates described Skubala as a "progressive appointment" who matches the Imps' ethos on developing players and a style of play.
The new boss, however, said "patience" will be needed before be can truly impose himself on how Lincoln play, but he wants a team that "pushes to win games" and is not "afraid to lose".
"I want to change the team to play in a really exciting way and style of football, but the team has to come with me. I can't just do it.
"It's about evolution with the team and not revolution."
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