Various news outlets, including Sky Sports New and the Yorkshire Evening Post, are reporting that Leeds United fans wait for Brian McDermott’s successor will come to an end today as Massimo Cellino unveils David Hockaday as the new Whites boss.

The extent of Hockaday’s powers remains to be seen, Cellino has stated on several occasions he intends to hire a coach to lead the first team instead of the more traditional management role we more commonly see here in England which usually gives the boss of a football club control over transfer targets, contracts and so forth.

The ‘European model’ Cellino intends to use instead generally means someone else deals with player signings and contracts, leaving the “manager” to simply coach the team, train them and select the line-up and tactics.

If Hockaday is to become Leeds’ new Head Coach, he’ll be something of an obscure choice having very little experience in such a position and none whatsoever at this level. His only management role to date was at lowly Forest Green Rovers, where he was relegated from the Conference and only narrowly missed out on relegation from the Conference South the following season. His overall win record with the club stands at a rather uninspiring 33%.

Perhaps the appealing part of Hockaday’s CV is his experience developing players. He was responsible for setting up the first English football academy at Cirencester, going on to win a National College Championship and seeing his idea adopted by professional clubs around the country.

By 2000, Hockaday was working as the Under 18 coach of Watford where he is credited with helping to develop quite a few big name players, including Manchester United striker Ashley Young. He was later promoted to first team coach and helped Watford to promotion in 2005, only to be fired by Aidy Boothroyd two years later. Since then, Hockaday has had coaching spells with MK Dons, Southampton and Cheltenham Town.

While parts of Hockaday’s CV are indeed encouraging, particularly for a club like Leeds United who have a great history of producing our own players, there’s no escaping the feeling he’s being hired because he represents the cheapest option for Cellino and that means he’ll be starting out with an awful lot to prove.

How Hockaday copes with a club as high-profile as Leeds United, where he’ll constantly be the subject of media scrutiny and have to deal with the lofty expectations of one of the country’s biggest clubs will be his greatest test of all. Many talented and experienced managers have failed spectacularly on the path Hockaday is set to travel, but motivation shouldn’t be hard to come by, after all, this will be the biggest job of his lifetime and a make or break moment for his career in professional football.

Hockaday - Right man for the job?

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