TRANMERE Rovers have appointed former Welsh international Rob Edwards as their new manager.
Edwards, 41, recently left Exeter City and has turned down a job at a Premier League club to take charge at Prenton Park.
The former Preston defender was assistant manager at Exeter City where he played a key role as the club won successive promotions from the Conference to League One.
He was instrumental in helping Exeter post a club best 8th placed finish in League One in 2011 - just one point outside the play-off places.
Edwards also managed the club's development squad and his hard work and coaching ability saw Exeter produce players that were sold for £1.7m, including striker Jamie Mackie.
He said: "I would like to thank everyone at the club for this fantastic opportunity. I've worked hard for this chance and feel I've been ready to manage for some time.
"I've ready to put into practice the skills I've learned from 25 years in the game that has seen me work with, and learn from, some superb managers and excellent players.
"I believe I can develop a team at Tranmere Rovers the whole Club, and the whole of Wirral can be proud of.
"My aim is to make sure we are challenging at the top end of the table, as well as setting up a structure to produce more home grown players.
"I've played at Prenton Park many times and always found it a tough place to play, with the fans really backing their team with passion and support.
"That experience has stuck with me and I want to make this a difficult place to come once again.
"I'm looking to move the club forward with an attacking brand of high-energy football and I can't wait to get started."
Tranmere Rovers chief executive Jeremy Butler revealed Edwards is recognised as one of football's best young coaches and believes he is ready to step up into a managerial role.
He said: "We drew up a profile for our new manager before we began an extensive search and Rob fills all of the criteria.
"We want a manager capable of winning promotion but also one able to improve our current bright young talents, as well as putting in place a pathway to bring through more players from our Academy.
"Rob has an excellent track record of developing players and we expect his determination to play a style of vibrant attacking football next season will produce a successful campaign.
"He has expert knowledge of League Two football and the players and systems we will come up against, as well as the experience of mounting a push for promotion from League One."
Butler added the board had carried out plenty of due diligence as part of its search for an exciting and ambitious candidate to fill the vacant manager's post at the Club.
"Our aim was to find a young, hungry manager with the drive to lead Tranmere Rovers forward," he added.
"We were aware that Russ Wilcox had stepped up from assistant manager at Scunthorpe to guide the Iron to promotion in his first season and have watched Graham Alexander take Fleetwood up in his first year in the job.
"Now we are looking forward to seeing Rob shape our future with some exciting new signings expected in the near future."
John McMahon will continue in his role as assistant manager with Dave Timmins carrying on his work as goalkeeping coach.
Edwards added: “I’m here to give young players the chance to play. There are so many young players out there who need the chance.
“If we can be patient with them, the club can reap the benefits. If we can pull our talents together, we can work effectively.”
Planning what he wants from next season’s squad, he said: “Senior players will have a real voice in the club. I want them to challenge me.
“The objective is to start the next season quickly and climb up the table. I don’t think it can be too much of a slow build-up. We need high energy and positive performance.
“The players have got to set the tempo and passion and get the fans off their seats. It all helps.”
Edwards’ mother is from Bebington and he has played at Prenton Park many on many occasions.
He said: "There is a certain style about Tranmere. The club has a proud history and needs to be a forward-thinking squad.”
On John McMahon’s decision to stay at Prenton Park, he said: "I’m really looking forward to working with him. We’re both football people.
"I want people around who will challenge what I say. John’s someone who will challenge me and work with me.
“In League Two you need a couple of goalscorers. Team spirit is also important and you need to be tactical.
“The game, for me, is all about the talent. It always comes down to players on the pitch.”