Under-23 head coach Edwards to leave Wolves

Under-23 head coach Rob Edwards has stepped down from his role at Wolves to take up a coaching position at the Football Association.

The former Wolves defender led the development side to promotion from PL2 Division 2 last season and leaves the club with them in seventh place after seven games in the top tier.

Former Wolves winger Mark Kennedy, who has been assisting Edwards and Sean Parrish with coaching the under-23s this season, has been placed in caretaker charge of the side whilst the search for a successor is conducted.

Edwards, who made more than 110 appearances in gold and black during a playing career which also saw him feature for clubs including Aston Villa, Blackpool and Barnsley, returned to Wolves in 2014 as an Academy coach, taking over the under-18 squad.

His season in charge of the under-18s was a successful one, leading to a promotion to first-team coach in the summer of 2015 under Kenny Jackett. After a brief stint as interim first-team head coach, Edwards remained at the club as a first-team coach under Paul Lambert.

The 36-year-old spent a year as manager of AFC Telford United before returning to Wolves in July 2018 to take on the reins of the under-23s from current Head of Academy Scott Sellars, guiding the side to one of their most successful PL2 campaigns last season.

Wolves’ sporting director, Kevin Thelwell, said: “Whilst it is always disappointing to lose such a talented coach and highly valued member of our backroom staff, we’re proud that Rob has been offered such a prestigious role at the FA to help develop the best young talent in the country.

“We’ve been delighted with the work Rob has done, not only with the under-23s and last season’s fantastic PL2 Division 2 title-winning campaign, but with the whole professional phase of the Academy, following his return to the club.

“We would all like to wish Rob the very best in his new venture and thank him for his considerable contribution to Wolves and to the Academy.

“We will now be look to identify a suitable successor who has the hunger, vision and drive to lead our under-23s during one of the most exciting periods in the club’s history.”

Edwards, who said the decision to step down from his current role was very difficult to make, added: “I’ve had so many roles at Wolves during different stages of my career, that I feel like it’s my club now. I love this club, but this is the right time and the right opportunity to take.

“I must thank all the staff and players I have worked with at Wolves; Jeff Shi for giving me the opportunity to come back to the club, Sean for putting up with me as my assistant, and especially Kev Thelwell, Gareth Prosser and Scott Sellars, who all played key roles in the six years I’ve been here as a coach.

“Scott oversaw the under-21s when I first joined Wolves as under-18 coach and was a person who I could really learn from and lean on. Kev then gave me the opportunity to be interim head coach, and I will be forever grateful for what was the proudest moment of my career – leading the team out at Molineux against Derby County.

“I wish the club all the best going forward in what I know will be a very successful future.”