Watford football club have announced that Rob Edwards will take over from Roy Hodgson at the end of this season.
This announcement follows Edward’s departure from Forest Green Rovers who he recently led to the League Two title.
Watford are set to be relegated at the end of the 2021/22 campaign after securing just six wins in 36 matches and earning themselves only 23 points.
Only Norwich City sit beneath them but with nine points in between the London club and the two sides sitting in 17th and 18th - Burnley and Leeds United - Watford have unfortunately secured the path no club wishes to take as they head back down to the Championship.
A statement released on The Hornets website, said: “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.”
Edwards’ soon to be former club were not quite so delighted with the news, however.
Forest Green’s owner Dale Vince spoke to BBC Sport saying: “It takes a bit of the shine off winning promotion. If there’s any karma in football they’ll languish in the Championship and we’ll meet them there in a few years’ time.
“(Edwards) said he’d been advised by Watford and his agent to keep it a secret from Forest Green which I think is pretty poor from them. It’s poor from Rob and he knows it.
“I thought I knew him better as a person.”
So who is Rob Edwards and what will he bring to Watford?
Rob Edwards playing career
Edwards began his professional career with Aston Villa in 1999 but was subsequently sent on loan to Crystal Palace and Derby County.
In 2004, after only eight appearances for the Villans, it was announced that the centre-back would be able to leave and he soon signed with Wolverhampton Wanderers.
An ankle ligament hindered Edwards’ ability to play much in his first season but during his four year stint at Molineux, Edwards made over 100 appearances.
After his time at Wolves, Edwards moved up to Blackpool, signing a two year contract for an undisclosed fee and captained the side for 2008 season.
He continued with Blackpool in 2011, making his first Premier League appearance since the 2002/03 season.
In the latter years of his playing career, Edwards signed with Norwich City on loan, Barnsley and both Fleetwood Town and Shrewsbury Town on loan.
Injury cut short Edwards’ playing career, but not after he had made 15 appearances for Wales.
Edwards announced his retirement from football at the age of just 30.
Rob Edwards, managerial career
Edwards began his managerial career at his former side, Wolves, as their U18s coach before becoming their interim manager in 2016.
From there, he moved to his hometown side AFC Telford United before returning to Molineux to take on their U23 squad.
He has also coached England U16s, and in 2021 signed with Forest Green Rovers.
The coach has an overall win percentage of 42.45% across his managerial career thus far.
With his most recent side Forest Green, Edwards had a win record of 24 wins and 19 draws in 53 matches.
Rob Edwards honours
The aforementioned League Two title was his first honour as a manager.
In his short career as a football manager, Edwards has been awarded EFL League Two Manager of the Month on three occasions and one EFL League Two Manager of the Season as a result of his work with Forest Green Rovers.
What is Rob Edwards’ managerial style?
Many players have previously spoken highly of Edwards and his man-management skills. He has a very arm-around-the-shoulder attitude with his players and this has led to increased levels of confidence in his squad.
Forest Green’s Matty Stevens said of his manager: “Confidence is the main thing. With Mark Cooper (former Rovers manager), I felt like if I hadn’t scored by half-time then I could get taken off. I felt under pressure.
“I haven’t had a manager put so much faith in me before. Working with Rob and his assistant, Richie (Kyle) has been brilliant.
“The lads love them - and it brings so much confidence to all of us.”