Thomas appointed Academy Manager of Watford

Thomas was assistant manager at Notts County from January 2017 to August 2018

Thomas was assistant manager at Notts County from January 2017 to August 2018

FORMER Notts County assistant Richard Thomas has been appointed Academy Manager at Premier League Watford.

Thomas, who was also Academy boss at Leyton Orient for six years, replaces Darren Sarll, who left in February following bullying allegations against him.

Thomas has had a long and varied coaching career. Kevin Nolan appointed him as his assistant at Notts County, having worked with him at Orient. The former Bolton and West Ham midfielder described his number two as "one of the best coaches I've worked with."

When the duo were sacked in August 2018, Thomas dropped down to the Northern Premier League to take charge of Grantham Town. He left in February after being approached by Watford.

The Hornets have a Category 2 Academy that was ranked 34th in TGG’s 2017/18 Productivity Rankings.

Sarll was suspended in January following bullying allegations that had been made against him and left the following month. The club had conducted an internal investigation but the results were not disclosed.

When the duo were sacked in August 2018, Thomas dropped down to the Northern Premier League to take charge of Grantham Town. He left in February after being approached by Watford.

The Hornets have a Category 2 Academy that was ranked 34th in TGG’s 2017/18 Productivity Rankings. Sarll was suspended in January following bullying allegations that had been made against him and then left the following month. The club had conducted an internal investigation but the results were not disclosed.

A club spokesman said: “We’d like to thank Darren for his efforts and achievements on and off the pitch, and wish him all the best for the future.

“Darren has brought a wealth of experience to his role, has been nothing but dedicated during his time at Watford and is now moving on to his next challenge, which we are sure he will make an equal success of.”

Sarll, who had joined in March 2018 from Stevenage, where he was manager, added: “There are a huge number of extremely talented staff and young people coming through the ranks and I wish all of them the very best for the future.

“Helping to coach and develop players is something I have always loved doing and I look forward to the next chapter in my career.”

This has become a familiar pattern in the Premier League in the last year. Bullying allegations were made against Under-23 coach Steve Gatting and his assistant Carl Laraman at Arsenal last year, and against Newcastle's U23 coach, Peter Beardsley.

In each case - as at Watford - there was an internal inquiry and the coaches left without the results being made public.

Meanwhile, TGG understands that Watford Sporting Director Andy Scott has been told his contract will not be renewed at the end of the season. He is currently in talks with the club about his future and could take an alternative role.

He was only promoted to the role last November, having previously been UK Football Recruitment Director. The club also has a Technical Director, the Italian Filippo Giraldi. Scott was behind the appointment of Sarll as Academy Manager.

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