New Leeds United coach David Hockaday says he intends to take his opportunity at Elland Road with both hands.
Hockaday was the surprise choice by owner Massimo Cellino to take over from Brian McDermott in the Elland Road hot seat with few whites fans having heard of the 56-year-old before he leapt to the top of the betting market the day after McDermott`s dismissal on May 31st.
His appointment hasn`t gone down too well with the majority of Leeds fans but Hockaday, whose only previous position in management was at Forest Green Rovers where he was sacked after four years in charge, says he cannot wait to start.
Speaking on the official website , Hockaday said, “I`m excited and ready to start work.
“I`m a very experienced coach and I spent over 20 years as a player.
“At the end of the day I have been given this unbelievable opportunity and I intend to take it with both hands.
“My remit is purely the players, everything that happens on the training pitch and everything that happens on the football pitch. That is it, it is as simple as that.
“That suits me because I am a coach. Coaching is my passion, it is my drive and it is what makes me tick.”
Hockaday will bring a wealth of experience to Leeds having enjoyed a 20-year playing career. He made over 500 appearances during spells with Blackpool, Swindon Town, Hull City, Stoke City and Shrewsbury Town. During his playing career he won championship medals in all three divisions of the Football League.
Since finishing his playing career, he has enjoyed spells in coaching with Watford, Leicester City, Southampton, MK Dons and Cheltenham before landing the manager`s job with non-league Forest Green Rovers in 2009.
In his first season in charge, Forest Green Rovers finished in the relegation positions but they were reprieved relegation after Salisbury City were relegated due to financial problems. Hockaday`s second season in charge once again saw them come very close to relegation as they stayed up on goal difference but the following two seasons he led them to a tenth place finish. After a decent start to last season that saw Forest Green lose just one of their first eight games, a run of seven defeats in eight games saw him dismissed by the club.
Hockaday will meet his new players at Leeds when they return for the start of pre-season training on Thursday.
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