Robbie Stockdale appointed as new manager of Rochdale AFC

Date published: 11 July 2021

Rochdale Football Club has announced that Robbie Stockdale will be the club’s new first team manager.

The 41-year-old joins the club on a two-year contract.

The former defender progressed through the youth ranks at Middlesbrough, before notching up over 250 appearances at clubs including Boro, Sheffield Wednesday, West Ham, Rotherham United and Hull City.

He started his coaching career at Grimbsy Town in 2010 before going on to join Sunderland two years later.

Stockdale spent six years on the staff at Sunderland and was part of the first team set up under the likes of Sam Allardyce. He also had three stints as caretaker manager.

After leaving the Black Cats, he was appointed as Paul Heckingbottom’s assistant at Hibernian in 2019, before reuniting with Allardyce in 2020 when he joined his backroom staff as first team coach at West Bromwich Albion.

He was also capped five times by Scotland during his playing career.

“I am really, really pleased to be here. I really enjoyed speaking to the board about their vision for the club and it became clear very quickly that vision matches mine,” said Stockdale.

“It was obviously a disappointing season in the end last year due to relegation but we want to bounce back. I’ve come here to win; that’s the main priority. We want to be really positive and we want to be an attacking team with high energy that supporters enjoy coming to watch. The fans are such a huge part of the club and we owe it to them to give one hundred percent in every game and try to get some positive results on the pitch.

“The fans have missed out on so much football over the last year and a half due to the pandemic and it has been a tough time. We want to make sure that when they come back in they see a team that always gives a hundred percent either win, lose or draw.

“There are some really good players in the squad and I want to bring in some more to help the players that are already here. Through the contacts I have built up over the years - I have worked in senior football for the last six years - I’ll be looking to get players in who can come and complement those that we already have here.

“The main aim now is to be ready for our first league game of the season on 10 August so there is a lot of work to be done from now until then, but with everybody pulling in the right direction I can see a real successful season for us.”

Chairman Simon Gauge said: “I am thrilled that we have been able to announce Robbie Stockdale as the new Rochdale AFC manager.

“Having worked under Sam Allardyce as first team coach at West Brom last season, he is ambitious to step up and take his opportunity to be the manager at our club.

“He was a vastly experienced player, playing across the leagues and proved himself as a coach working through the academies to then working as an assistant to some of the biggest names in football.

“He has done a great deal of research about our club and is already aware of the areas of strength and weaknesses within our squad, and he is undoubtedly ready to hit the ground running. It is a real coup for Rochdale AFC to attract a manager of Robbie’s quality.

“His reputation as a coach will help us attract highest quality of player to the club.”

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