/ Soccer

Leeds confirm shock Dave Hockaday appointment as manager

Updated: Thursday, 19 Jun 2014 13:50 | Comments

Dave Hockaday will be the manager at Elland Road next season
Dave Hockaday will be the manager at Elland Road next season

Leeds have confirmed the controversial appointment of Dave Hockaday as the club's new first-team coach.

Hockaday, who left his last post as manager at Forest Green Rovers by mutual consent in October last year, has signed a two-year contract at Elland Road.

Leeds owner Massimo Cellino, who completed his takeover of the club on 7 April, reached an amicable settlement to part company with previous manager Brian McDermott on 30 May.

Former Watford coach Hockaday, 56, will work alongside the club's director of football Benito Carbone, who was appointed as a consultant responsible for "technical and football operations" on 15 May.

Leeds have also confirmed former Hendon coach Junior Lewis, who had spells at Gillingham, Leicester and Hull as a player, has been appointed as Hockaday's assistant.

The club have made no comment at this stage on the future of coach Nigel Gibbs, who had been assistant to McDermott.

A brief Leeds statement read: "Leeds United are pleased to announce that David Hockaday has been appointed to the position of head coach.

"The 56-year-old has signed a two-year contract and will assume overall responsibility for the coaching staff and first-team playing squad with immediate effect.

"David arrives at Elland Road with a vast amount of coaching experience and was integral to the management team at Watford that gained promotion to the Premier League in 2006."

The statement added: "Leeds United's new head coach will be joined by former Leicester City midfielder Junior Lewis."

Shockwaves reverberated around the Leeds fanbase when Hockaday became a leading candidate for the job with bookmakers 24 hours after McDermott had left the club.

The appointment of the former Blackpool and Swindon defender is sure to spark a fresh wave of indignation on social media websites among Leeds supporters who had been hoping for a bigger name to lead the club's promotion challenge in the Sky Bet Championship next season.

Reading's academy manager Eamonn Dolan is understood to have been at the top of Cellino's wish-list, but the Italian baulked at the Berkshire club's reported £500,000 compensation fee.
Cellino had made public his determination not to go overseas for a coach, whose remit would stretch no further than preparing the first-team squad, soon after he had completed his takeover.

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use