Forest Green Rovers have appointed Rob Edwards as their new manager.
The former Wolverhampton Wanderers Under-23 coach will take up his new role on June 5, assisted by Richie Kyle.
The 38-year-old replaces interim boss Jimmy Ball at the New Lawn, who took charge of Rovers’ final eight games of the season following Mark Cooper’s sacking.
Ball had previously expressed an interest in taking on the role full-time while club chairman Dale Vince had suggested he was considering hiring a female head coach, or someone from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background.
‘The start of our next era’
Speaking after his appointment was confirmed, Edwards 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.”
Chairman Vince described his new appointment as a coach “at the cutting edge of the game”.
"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,” he explained.
"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."
Who is Rob Edwards?
Edwards joins Rovers after working as the England under-16 head coach and under-20 assistant for the FA.
He was previously the under-23 coach at Wolverhampton Wanderers, who were promoted to the highest level of youth football under his stewardship.
He made the switch from player to coach aged 30, following stints at Aston Villa, Blackpool and Wolves.
Rovers said they received more than 100 applicants for the management role, but Edwards impressed with his “footballing philosophy and vision for the club’s future”.