Leeds United hand Dave Hockaday head coach role
Leeds United, 33/1 outsiders to win the Championship next season, have announced the appointment of former Forest Green Rovers boss Dave Hockaday as their new head coach on a two-year contract.
The 56-year-old, who has never managed in the Football League, will have a difficult debut when the new club season starts away at Millwall in August 9th.
Brian McDermott left Elland Road by mutual consent at the end of the campaign, with old Whites boss Gary McAllister and Reading youth coach Eamonn Dolan both linked to replacing him. Instead, Hockaday has been handed the reins.
Although the new Leeds head coach may appear to have come from left-field, he worked in Watford’s academy as assistant to Aidy Boothroyd when the Hornets beat the Yorkshire side in a Championship play-off final. Hockaday went on to take charge of Southampton youngsters between 2007 and 2009.
Cellino is understood to be targeting promotion from the Championship in 2015/16, but will employ the continental coaching structure under a director of football.
“Dave Hockaday will assume overall responsibility for the coaching staff and first-team playing squad with immediate effect”, an official Leeds statement said.
He spent four years with Forest Green, but was sacked last October after a poor start to the season. Hockaday, a former Blackpool, Hull City, Swindon Town and Stoke City player, will be assisted by journeyman midfielder Junior Lewis.
There is a squad rebuilding job to do at Elland Road following the release of a number of senior players. Adam Drury, Paul Green, Luke Varney, Jamie Ashdown, Danny Pugh, Michael Brown and El-Hadji Diouf – all 30-somethings – all need replacing.
That makes a goalkeeper, left back, central midfielders and a winger top priorities for Hockaday. He must also try to keep Whites captain Ross McCormack from the clutches of Cardiff City and Fulham, sides that have just been relegated from the Premier League. The Scotland striker scored 28 Championship goals in 2013/14, making him the second-tier’s leading marksman.