Troy Deeney: ex-Watford and Birmingham City striker lands first role in management with League 2 club

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Troy Deeney has taken on his first role in management.

Former Watford captain and Birmingham City striker Troy Deeney has agreed a deal to become the new manager of Forest Green Rovers.

The 35-year-old footballer has been working in a player-coach capacity since joining the League 2 club in the summer but will now step into the managerial hot seat to replace David Horseman who left the club by mutual consent after just five months.

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Deeney inherits a team that are struggling near the bottom of the fourth-tier and will now be tasked with reviving the club’s fortunes after a run of just four victories from their opening 21 league matches.

Forest Green Rovers are currently in 23rd position and five points from safety, the Green face the prospect of back-to-back relegations if their form doesn’t improve and chairman Dale Vince, who only recently celebrated promotion from League 2 in the 2021/22 season, claimed he needed to “act decisively” to improve his team’s performances and league position.

Deeney has never previously managed a football team but is blessed with a wealth of playing experience at the highest level and was regarded as a strong character and a leader in the dressing room.

But how have football fans reacted to Deeney’s appointment as Forest Green manager and how do the bookmakers rate their chances of survival?

Here’s all you need to know.

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Who is Troy Deeney?

Troy Deeney is a 35-year-old striker who has played most of his career in the top two league’s of English football.

Deeney made a name for himself at non-league side Chelmsley Town in the West-Midlands and went on to play for the likes of Walsall, Watford and Birmingham City before joining Forest Green this season.

He is best known for his success at Watford where he scored 131 goals in 389 league appearances - captaining the team to two separate Championship promotions and an FA Cup final between 2010 and 2021.

Deeney scored 11 goals in 54 games during two Championship seasons with Birmingham and is Forest Green’s second top scorer this season with four goals in 16 appearances.

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How have Forest Green Rovers fans reacted to the appointment?

Forest Green Rovers chairman Dale Vince said: “Troy came to us to begin his career in coaching and take the next step of his career - this is happening sooner than expected but he’s built strong relationships already with our staff, squad and fans - and is well placed for the challenge.We’ll strengthen our squad in the coming transfer window as well, to give ourselves the best chance of securing our place in League Two before looking upward once more, toward League One and beyond.”

Forest Green fans have reacted with mixed emotions to Deeney’s appointment.

One user tweeted: “Best of luck Troy.”

Another added: “Great decision but I don’t know about Deeney being permanent manager.”

Others were less welcoming of the appointment. One fan tweeted: “One the face of it, this seems like madness. A change may be needed but TD? With half a season experience as a player coach, to save us from falling out of the league? I hope theres something going on here that I’m missing.”

Another simply tweeted: “Heading to the National League.”

Deeney’s journey as Forest Green boss begins with a home match against Gillingham and the Gloucester side end 2023 with trips to Newport and Swindon.

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