Female pioneer Costa leaves Watford after a year

Helena Costa with Ben Manga (left), who left Watford in October

Helena Costa with Ben Manga (left), who left Watford in October

HELENA COSTA, English football’s first and only female Head of Recruitment, has left Watford after less than a year.

Costa, who has previously coached the Qatar Women's Team and scouted for Celtic, joined the Hornets as Head of Recruitment and Assistant Technical Director in January 2023. She arrived at the club from Eintracht Frankfurt along with Ben Manga, who was appointed Technical Director.

However, Watford have again undergone a big reshuffle behind the scenes in recent months. Manga left in October, which then put Costa's role in doubt. Sporting Director Cristiano Giaretta departed in September and was this month replaced by Gianluca Nani, who has returned to the club after serving in the same role from 2012 to 2015.

Writing on Instagram, Costa confirmed her exit. She said: "It was one season of intense work, great challenges, new tasks in all daily team life! A season full of personal and professional growth, a year that presented me with new wonderful persons (thank you!).

"Living in London was another top experience; being inside English top-level football was a privilege. Thanks for the opportunity. I wish Watford FC and their wonderful supporters success!

"I’m waiting now, 100% sure that 2024 will bring new challenges, and I’ll be open to it with the same determination, enthusiasm and happiness.”

READ MORE: Watford staff profiles

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