Forest Green have announced that Ian Burchnall has been appointed as the club’s new manager.
The 39-year-old former Notts County boss was overwhelmingly the top pick to become Rob Edwards’ permanent successor after the former boss jumped ship to join relegated Premier League outfit, Watford.
Burchnall led the Magpies to the National League play-offs, losing 2-1 to Grimsby Town after extra-time on Monday night.
Burchnall joins Rovers with immediate effect, as the club prepares for a first foray into League One – following promotion as League Two champions last month.
Possessing a background in youth coaching, Burchnall’s first senior role came as Brian Deane’s assistant at Norwegian side Sarpsborg in 2012. He then took the same job at Viking FK, paving the way for him to become their manager in 2017. He moved across the Swedish border to replace now-Brighton manager Graham Potter at Ostersund FK after previously working with Potter at the University of Leeds. Burchnall led Ostersund to a sixth-place finish, one point and a place below the record set by Potter the previous year.
Burchnall started his coaching journey aged 22 at the University of Leeds – and has coached internationally at Norwegian clubs Sarpsborg and Viking – where was Head Coach. He also spent time at Sweden’s Östersunds FK in the country’s top division. He became the head coach at Notts County in March of 2021.
“I’m really delighted to sign at FGR and be part of what is an exciting chapter in the club’s history,” Burchnall. “I am grateful for the opportunity to come and lead the club and the challenge of football in League One was just too good to turn down, especially at a progressive and forward-thinking club. I want to thank Dale (Vince) and Rich (Hughes) for bringing me in, and to Notts County for the time I spent at the club. I’m looking forward to getting started.”
Rich Hughes, Director of Football, insisted the style of play will excite the fans next season: “It’s great to have Ian on board – he plays a fantastic style of football which our fans will love, and he has the skills to establish the club as a League One outfit. Ian’s teams have all played with a well-defined style, he’s an excellent communicator, great character and good bloke – we’re all looking forward to working with him.”
Forest Green chairman Dale Vince praised the manner in which Notts County handled the move of their manager after Watford had approached Edwards without the knowledge of Rovers, he added: “We’re all pleased and excited to welcome Ian to the club and look forward to our first season together in League One. Big credit to Notts County for the way they handled this – between us we’ve shown how moves in football can still get done properly and above board.”