sport

Hockaday 'is a good choice'

Forest Green chairman Dale Vince believes David Hockaday ‘deserves his chance’ after being installed as head coach of Leeds United earlier this week.

Hockaday was the surprise appointment by the Championship club to take over the hot-seat vacated by Brian McDermott.

However, the announcement has angered many of the club's fans who felt a more high-profile name should have been selected.

The 56-year-old moves to Elland Road having only ever held one managerial role at Forest Green - who compete in the fifth tier of English football.

But Hockaday was the choice of Leeds United president Massimo Cellino whose decision has received support from Vince.

He said: "I'm really pleased for David actually, I'm chuffed for him. He's a great bloke. He's a very hard-working, loyal and honest man with an unbelievable depth of footballing knowledge.

"I really want him to succeed but would not dare to predict how it will work out for him. Massimo Cellino is a lot better qualified than me to make a judgement on whether David can be successful in the Championship, but he deserves his chance."

Hockaday spent four years at the Gloucestershire club before leaving by mutual consent last October following a run of seven defeats in eight games.

Vince added: "His experience in the game at all levels makes him an ideal candidate for anybody and he's so determined to succeed.

"It's interesting to see he has taken up a head coach role at Leeds rather than becoming the manager. Cellino will take all the pressure off him with regards to recruitment and other managerial duties and that lends itself to David's strengths.

"We formed a friendship during his time at Forest Green and I've spoken to him to wish him luck. Cellino appears to be a very interesting character and he made a good point that everyone has to start somewhere.\"

Born in Sedgefield, Durham, Hockaday played 147 games for Blackpool and more than 200 for Swindon Town.