Watford FC announced the appointment of Valérien Ismael as the club’s new Head Coach. The club signs him with the focus now shifting to the 2023/24 season.
The 47-year-old joins with extensive management experience gained both in the UK and abroad.
Watford’s Technical Director Ben Manga commented on the appointment, saying, “Being able to appoint a new coach so soon in May means we can prepare very well together for next season.”It’s great news for Watford to be able to welcome someone with Valérien’s experience. We are all excited to collaborate with him.”
Ismael had a lengthy professional playing career with Strasbourg, as well as Werder Bremen. He also played for Bayern Munich in Germany, as well as Crystal Palace in England.
During his distinguished playing career, he accomplished the unusual feat of winning the German league and cup with two different clubs: Bremen in 2004 and Bayern Munich in 2006. He previously won the Coupe de France with Strasbourg.After retiring from Hannover 96. Ismael became manager of the German club’s reserve team before moving on to successful stints with FC Nürnberg and VfL Wolfsburg.
He then took charge of Apollon Smyrnis in Greece before taking over at LASK, where he led the Austrian club to their first-ever appearance in the UEFA Champions League play-offs and a debut in the UEFA Europa League group stage, reaching the round of 16.
Watford signs Ismael as 11th New Head Coach
Ismael accepted the opportunity to manage in England when he joined Barnsley in October 2020. When he arrived, the Tykes were just outside the Sky Bet Championship relegation zone. But they stormed up the table to finish fifth, missing out on promotion in the play-offs.
Ismael’s most recent appointment came at Turkish giants Beşiktaş after gaining domestic experience at West Bromwich Albion during the 2021/22 season.
The Hornets would like to express their gratitude to Chris Wilder and his staff, whose short-term contracts have expired.
His 11-game stint began in March and ended with the season-ending win over Stoke City at home.
We wish Chris, Alan Knill, Matt Prestridge, and Mike Allen the best of luck in their future football endeavors.