Football Manager Handheld for Android coming on 11 April

Football Manager Handheld for Android will be released on 11 April, marking the debut of the extremely popular coaching simulation game for devices outside of iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

It also comes as somewhat of a shock, as Sports Interactive's studio director, Miles Jacobson, exclusively told Pocket-lint in October last year that the developer had no plans to release an Android version because of the fragmentation of the market.

"With everyone making their own version of Android it makes it really really hard [to guarantee that it works universally]," he said. "We want to do it as a studio. We have a bunch of guys at the studio who have Android phones. We'd love to do it. But, at the moment, we're not there. So, we're sticking to iOS for now."

However, it now seems that any fragmentation hurdles have been overcome - with the application hitting Google Play next week for £6.99.

"Since the first release of Football Manager Handheld for mobiles a couple of years ago, the most-asked question on social networks has been ‘When is it coming to Android?’,” said Jacobson. “Now, we can reveal the answer."

The Android version will be nigh-on identical to its iPhone counterpart. There will be 12 countries with playable leagues; Australia, Belgium, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Portugal, Scotland, Spain and Wales. And four languages will be supported; English, Spanish, French and Italian.

Challenge mode will also be present, offering short-term scenarios, specific to Football Manager Handheld. And the career mode is, naturally, as exhaustive as ever. The application will have the latest player and staff database too.

Football Manager for Android will work on Android 2.2 or higher, and Google Play will list all of the compatible devices on its release.

It's also got us thinking here at the Lint: now that SI Games has managed to make an Android version when we were told it wouldn't happen, maybe Jacobson poo-poohing our Siri-controlled Football Manager idea is just a smoke screen too?

Or perhaps not.

Are you excited that Football Manager Handheld for Android is coming at last? Let us know in the comments below...