Watford have announced the appointment of Rob Edwards as their head coach from next season on what The Athletic understands is a two-year deal.Edwards, 39...
Watford have announced the appointment of Rob Edwards as their head coach from next season on what The Athletic understands is a two-year deal.
Edwards, 39, was manager of Forest Green Rovers, who won League Two last week.
The Athletic revealed on Wednesday morning that the Hertfordshire club were in advanced talks with the 39-year-old.
Watford were relegated to the Championship on Saturday after losing at Crystal Palace.
It is understood that the agreement with Edwards follows discussions with fellow contender John Eustace breaking down. Eustace has been an assistant at Queens Park Rangers since 2018.
The club were specifically aiming for a young, homegrown manager, a bill that fits Edwards. He had a 14-year playing career, mainly in the Football League, including 100 league appearances for Wolverhampton Wanderers between 2004 and 2008.
He took caretaker charge of the west Midlands club in 2016, and has also managed Telford United, Wolves U23, England U16, and Forest Green.
He will replace Roy Hodgson, who is set to retire from management at the end of the season after a 46-year coaching career, and become Watford's ninth permanent manager in five years.
Hodgson was Watford’s third manager this season, following Xisco Munoz and Claudio Ranieri.
A Watford statement read: “Watford Football Club is delighted to confirm the appointment of Rob Edwards as its new head coach, effective after the conclusion of the current 2021-22 season.
“Rob had a contractual provision allowing him to leave Forest Green Rovers at any time to discuss employment opportunities at other clubs and the Hornets are delighted to confirm our discussions concluded today.”
Speaking to Sky Sports News earlier in the day, Forest Green owner Dale Vince had expressed disappointment at the process: “He's not our manager anymore. I feel disappointed with him, let down. Watford encouraged him not to tell us. We move on.
“Watford have not contacted us, Rob hadn't said anything. I called him last night and as soon as he started speaking I knew that is was real.”
A Forest Green statement said: “FGR confirms the departure of head coach Rob Edwards. Rob was a key part of the team that gained promotion to League One this season. We’re disappointed that our support, loyalty and honesty towards Rob has been repaid in this way — with negotiations taking place behind our backs.
“We had no contact from Watford, from whom we might expect less, but in any event this kind of behaviour gives football a bad name.
“We thank Rob for all his work at FGR — forgive him the manner of his departure and wish him well.”
They face Everton tonight at Vicarage Road, looking to avoid a 12th consecutive home defeat.Watford announce appointment of Rob Edwards as head coach from next season - The Athletic View Story