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Forest Green name ex-Villa, Wolves, Blackpool, Barnsley player as new boss

Forest Green name ex-Villa, Wolves, Blackpool, Barnsley player Rob Edwards as their new boss days after being knocked out of the playoffs.

The 38-year-old, who had also been assisting the England under 20s team, comes in to replace Mark Cooper, who was sacked by the club in April.

Caretaker boss Jimmy Ball led them to a top-seven finish in League Two but they lost to Newport County in the playoffs.

Edwards left his role as Wolves’ Under-23s coach to join the national team set-up in October 2019.


Forest Green Rovers have confirmed the appointment of Rob Edwards as Head Coach.

Rob joins FGR on Saturday 5th June, fresh from his dual role as the England U16 Head Coach and U20 Assistant for the FA.

His Wolves U23 squad were promoted to the highest level of youth football for the first time in the club’s history. Before moving into coaching at the age of 30 – Rob played for clubs including Aston Villa, Blackpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

With over 100 applications received for the role at FGR, Rob impressed with his footballing philosophy and his vision for the club’s future – with a proven track record in player development, and experience in both domestic and international football.

Rob will be joined by Richie Kyle as Assistant Head Coach. Richie spent several seasons as a first team coach at Blackpool – and was also a coach in the England youth set up alongside Rob. Richie returns to English football from his role as Assistant Coach for the Canadian women’s team.

The two coaches first worked together in the England youth set-up as in-possession and out-of-possession specialist coaches – a strategy recognised by many experts and pundits as a key factor in the national team’s greatly improved performance at youth level, a training philosophy that will be introduced at FGR. 

Rob Edwards, Head Coach, Forest Green Rovers, said: “This is a club that feels really different from others – and actually does things another way.  My conversations with the chairman were incredibly positive, and showed we’ll get the time and support we need to go on a winning journey.  The club has a well-developed footballing infrastructure under Richard Hughes, and with great people behind the scenes and incredible fans, I’m looking forward to getting started.”

Richard Hughes, Football Director, Forest Green Rovers, added:  “I’m looking forward to working with Rob.  He’s got a great coaching pedigree and is recognised for his progressive views for the future of the game.”

Dale Vince, Chairman, Forest Green Rovers, commented:  “We recently moved away from a Manager to the Head Coach concept – with this recruitment we’re completing that transformation – by bringing in an up and coming coaching team.

“We wanted to move away from the recruitment merry-go-round of been there and done it league managers to focus on coaches at the cutting edge of the game. Rob and Richie bring an understanding and openness to all aspects of coaching – like sports science and analytics. This is the start of our next era.”

Fans reacted as Forest Green name the ex-Villa, Wolves, Blackpool, Barnsley player as their new boss…

@voodoobluesman: Jimmy was my first choice and hopefully he will still be playing a big part in our team. I loved his encouragement and positivity. I hope that Rob will continue in this style and wish him all the best.

@ArturoBinewskii: Seem to have misspelled Jimmy Ball there

@Jakey_Boyz: Very, very interesting appointment. Looking forward to this. Welcome to FGR Rob

@Keelanjones1417: Bit gutted for jimmy but looks good still 👌

@FGR_Alfie: @jimmyball8 better be staying with him

@Ryanhaney67: Goodness that was unexpected

@Ryanhaney67: Jimmy in coaching staff surely

@seanbaker87: Well Well Well. I heard a couple of weeks ago rumour was Rob Edwards. This has surprised me I am genuinely gutted for @jimmyball8 hopefully he stays with us at least number 2 to Rob. Got my full backing

@caitlinjjwebb: Poor Jimmy

@mvclayton: Oh dear, if he’s still as good as he was @telfordutd then you’re in for an interesting season!

@elliotowens95: Ben Garner mk2

@Stackz_18: Little sad for Jimmy, he deserved a shot at it. That said… Welcome to the club Rob, wishing you all the success in the world! #greenarmy

@RRWB_: Genuinely hope he does well. He came to us at a time where a popular manager was shafted and we were used as a B team. A lack of knowledge of the level, too. It was, unfortunately, always gonna end in tears.

@Grantkunta13: Interesting appointment for sure but he has my full backing nevertheless 🙌 hopefully the potential to bring some good young players in on loan

@afctuadammm: give his agent a pay rise.

@mat_yates: Up the Wolves!

@KitKatters25: @jacksb7 fuck me. His agent is next level

@TheLeonKearney: The last time a Rob Edwards was appointed a manager for a League Two side something bad happened…

@NTT20Pod: Ooooh this is intriguing.

@ryanharmer101: Glad the club have gone in a fresh direction – looks promising to build on the youthful squad. Not sure what the clamour was for Jimmy so it’s good the club didn’t get swayed by fan over reaction to his short tenure in my opinion.

@JackPLoftus: Doesn’t look right at all 😂

@WolvesDaily77: All the best Rob Edwards #Wwfc #Wolves #wolvesfc #robedwards #FGR #forestgreen #forestgreenrovers

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