AFC Telford United moved quickly to replace outgoing manager Rob Smith as they announced the appointment of former Wolverhampton Wanderers defender Rob Edwards.

The thirty four year old will take his first full managerial role at New Bucks Head, although he did have a short spell as interim Head Coach at Wolves last season.

Following the sacking of Walter Zenga, Edwards stepped into the Wolves dugout and took charge of two games before Paul Lambert was named as the EFL Championship club’s new Head Coach.

Edwards began his career with Aston Villa, making nine appearances for the club.

His international career also got underway, as he won the first of fifteen Wales caps in a Euro 2004 qualifier against Azerbaijan in March 2003.

During his time at Villa Park he spent loan spells with Crystal Palace and Derby County, before leaving the club to join Wolves in May 2004.

He went on to make over one hundred appearances over four seasons for the Molineux club.

His departure was confirmed in August 2008 when he joined Blackpool.

Following a spell with Barnsley, Edwards announced his retirement from playing in October ed

He moved into coaching within the academy setup at Wolves and after a successful stint as Under-18s coach, he was promoted to work with the first team under Kenny Jackett.

In the summer of 2015 he was named as the club’s new First Team Coach.

When Paul Lambert replaced Walter Zenga in the Molieux dugout he kept Edwards on as his First Team Coach but now the former Wales international will begin his managerial career with National League North club AFC Telford United.

Speaking to the club’s official website Bucks director Andy Pryce said “It has been a difficult couple of years for the club, and a tough decision to part company with Rob and Larry, who worked very hard in some challenging circumstances.”

“But we are delighted to have brought in a head coach of the calibre of Rob Edwards, who we are confident will bring success and help the club develop in the future.  

“Rob is a Telford lad, who had a successful career as a player and has since gone on to make a very good start to his coaching career, working with both young and senior players. Having done very well with the Wolves under-18s side, he stepped up to the role of first team coach over the last two seasons, which included being temporary head coach for a spell last season.

He has an excellent reputation within the game and has a hunger and determination to make a success of this new opportunity with AFC Telford. We welcome Rob to AFC Telford, and look forward to working with him as the club aims for an exciting and successful season.”

Edwards, who holds a UEFA A License qualification, revealed that he is relishing the challenge of working with him hometown club saying “Really excited to be joining AFC Telford United as their new manager. This is my home-town club which I have a real affiliation too. I will be working very hard to see what we can achieve and hopefully see the football club raise its profile to a new level.”

Edwards will take charge of the Bucks for the first time when they open their pre-season campaign with a trip to Midland League club Haughmond FC on Saturday 8th July.

Article: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily)
Image: Reuters Media

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