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Club News

Getting to know Rob Edwards!

18 November 2022

Club News

Getting to know Rob Edwards!

18 November 2022

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"I’m absolutely delighted to be here. It’s a really exciting opportunity to manage this great football club and I can’t wait to get started."

Rob Edwards has become the new Luton Town manager, appointment on a minimum three-and-a-half-year deal contract and upon arrival earlier on Thursday afternoon, the 39-year-old said: "From the outside, looking in at Luton Town, you see such a well-run football club, a club that’s growing, moving forward and competing at the right end of the Championship.

"It’s a club that did fantastically well last season and is doing so well now. When the opportunity opened up, straight away, you see there is a terrific group of players there and a club that’s only looking in one direction.

"Then, I come in and start meeting everyone, and you get such a warm feeling. You can see it’s a club that puts its people and supporters first. I feel a lot of positivity around the place, and I’m really thankful to be given the chance to be part of it."


Playing days

Telford-born Edwards began his career with Aston Villa as an apprentice, later making his senior debut for the club in December 2002 – a 1-0 win against Middlesbrough in the Premier League.

The following month he signed a new deal with the club and went on to make nine appearances during the rest of the campaign.

Edwards then went out on loan to Crystal Palace where he scored his first senior goal in a 1-1 draw with Coventry City, before joining Derby County for the rest of the 2003/04 campaign.

It was during which time he also made his debut on the international stage for Wales – whom he qualifies for because his parents are Welsh – in a 4-0 European Championship qualifying victory over Azerbaijan.

After two loan spells away from Villa Park, the centre-back made a permanent move across the West Midlands to then Championship club Wolverhampton Wanderers. Injuries affected his first season as a Wolves player, but he went on to play a key role in defence during the next two campaigns, making 42 and 33 appearances respectively but didn’t play a part in their 2006/07 play-off campaign due to injury.

Following exactly 100 appearances as a Wolves player, he switched for the orange of Blackpool in 2008. On just his second start for the Seasiders, Edwards was made captain in the absence of Keith Southern who was suspended, but manager Simon Grayson later confirmed that he would wear the armband for the rest of the season.


His first goal for the club came against former side Wolves as he bundled home a late equaliser to rescue a point against the Championship league leaders.

The following term was a memorable one under new boss Ian Holloway as Blackpool gained promotion to the Premier League via a 3-2 play-off final victory against Cardiff City at Wembley Stadium. Edwards was an unused substitute on the afternoon but went on to make two appearances in the top flight.

A brief loan spell at Norwich City was followed by a final permanent move to Barnsley, where he decided to end his playing career at the age of 30 due to injury.


Life as a coach


After hanging up his boots, Edwards quickly moved into coaching and after a spell shadowing and helping his former Wales team-mate Gareth Taylor in the Manchester City academy, he returned to former club Wolves.

He became Under 18s coach and following a successful first season in charge was promoted to help Kenny Jackett with the first team, where he later became a full-time first team coach during the summer of 2015.

Edwards was appointed interim Head Coach at Wolves following the dismissal of Walter Zenga in October 2016 and took charge of two matches before Paul Lambert came through the door.

A stint as AFC Telford United boss was next before he returned to Molineux to lead the U23 side. In his first season in charge, he led them to Premier League 2 Division 1 for the first time in their history.

In October 2019, the highly regarded coach took up a role with the FA working as a coach with England U20s and later as Head Coach for England U16s.


Delving into management


After earning his badges and plaudits at Wolves and with England for developing young players, Edwards was appointed Head Coach of League Two side Forest Green Rovers in May 2021.

The move proved instantly fruitful as he was awarded the League Two Manager of the Month trophy for winning four of his first five matches. He would pick up two more monthly awards as the season went on and as Forest Green went from strength-to-strength in the league.

His attractive, energetic brand of football, averaging over 52 per cent possession, a was matched by a mean defence as the Gloucestershire side claimed 19 clean sheets on the way to winning the League Two title for the first time in their history.

Forest Green scored the second-most number of goals in the division and picked up 84 points at an average of 1.8 per game. They also rotated the least out of any team in the league, as Edwards used 19 players during their title-winning campaign, which ended with him being awarded the League Two Manager of the Season trophy.

In May, he swapped the New Lawn for Vicarage Road and the Championship.

He oversaw a winning start to Watford’s return to the second division with a 1-0 win over Sheffield United but in September he was sacked as head coach with Watford in 10th place, one point off the play-off positions.

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