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Watford FC Staff Profiles

Head Coach: Beppe Sannino

Shirt Sponsor: Jon Brydon from H2o Aquatics Ltd

Giuseppe 'Beppe' Sannino took charge at Watford in December 2013, after a disappointing run of Sky Bet Championship form saw popular figure Gianfranco Zola relinquish the role.

The Italian's route to English football was certainly a path less trodden. A professional in his home country, Sannino was a creative, goalscoring forward who spent his whole playing career in the lower reaches of Italian football. His most successful time on the pitch came with A.C. Vogherese in the early 1980s.

Coaching was always the goal for Sannino, and his first role came with Vogherese, where he adopted their Under-17 team. Various youth roles followed before taking the reins at amateur outfit A.S.D. OltrepoVoghera in 1996.

Sannino, who has become a popular figure at The Vic, due in part to his passionate, animated presence on the touchline, crafted his trade for the next decade in the lower leagues with Biellese, F.C. Südtirol, Meda, Sangiovannese, Varese and Cosenza. 

Sannino has promotion pedigree. In 2007 he led Lombardy side Lecco to promotion from Serie C2 and the following year repeated the feat with Pergocrema. In his next post, a second tenure with Varese, Sannino established himself as one of the most successful managers in the lower tiers as the Leopardi achieved successive promotions, from Serie C1 to Serie B, losing out in the second tier Play-Offs as they looked for a historic third. 

Beppe's first top-flight post came with Siena in 2011, where he coached the team to the Coppa Italia Semi-Finals and steered them clear of relegation in their first-season. Further short-lived spells in Serie A followed with Palermo (twice) and Chievo, before he took his first job outside of Italy at Vicarage Road. 

A 1-1 draw with Ipswich in his opening match at the helm was followed by a comprehensive 4-0 win over Millwall, ending a run of four straight home defeats without scoring for the Hornets. Sannino steadied the ship in his first few months in charge, implementing a more cautious approach that yielded seven clean sheets in the eight home games after his appointment.

You can watch a video of Sannino's touchline persona below via the official Watford FC Youtube Channel.

Giovanni Cusatis: Assistant Head Coach

Giovanni Cusatis was one member of the backroom team appointed following Beppe Sannino’s appointment as Head Coach towards the end of 2013.

His playing days were spent as a versatile full-back or midfielder in Italy with Calcio Como, Solbiate, AC Pavia, SS Teramo Calcio, SSD Casarano Calcio, SC Siracusa, Novara Calcio and ASD Legnano Calcio.

Initially a youth-team coach, Cusatis was promoted by Sannino to the Assistant Coach role at AC Meda before stints with Calcio Como, Caronno, ASD Legnano Calcio – as Assistant Coach to Attilio Lombardo – Aurora Pro Patria and US Alessandria Calcio.

After another spell working with Sannino at Chievo Verona in Serie A, Cusatis was named his Assistant Head Coach at Watford in December 2013.

Francesco Troise: Assistant Head Coach 

Francesco Troise took on the Assistant Head Coach role at Watford following the arrival of Beppe Sannino in December 2013.

A midfielder during his playing days at Italian clubs FC Matera and Potenza SC, Troise gained coaching experience with various non-professional outfits before spells with US Arzanese, ASD Torrecuso Calcio and SS Scafatese Calcio.

Having worked on Sannino’s coaching staff at Serie A side Chievo Verona, he then switched to Vicarage Road midway through the 2013/14 campaign.

Goalkeeping Coach: Alec Chamberlain

Alec Chamberlain is a Watford legend having played for the Hornets in well over 250 games since he moved from Sunderland for a paltry £40,000 in 1996. 

The goalkeeper enjoyed a testimonial season in 2005/06 and retired after appearing as a substitute in Watford's final Premier League fixture in 2006/07 against Newcastle United.

Appointed to the coaching staff in between those dates, Alec is now a long-standing and well respected member of the Hornets' backroom staff. He now focuses on the goalkeepers at Vicarage Road and takes a keen interest in the development of the younger 'keepers at the club. 

Paolo De Toffol: Goalkeeping Coach

Paolo De Toffol joined the Hornets as part of Beppe Sannino's coaching staff in December 2013. 

The goalkeeping coach spent his entire playing career in Italy, playing in Serie B and C, featuring for the likes of Padova, Monza and Cuzarano.

De Toffol shares duties with Alec Chamberlain, working with the Golden Boys’ first-team ‘keepers as well as the full-time Academy scholars.

Vastly experienced as a coach with over ten years of experience, De Toffol has held coaching positions at Padova, Treviso and Vicenza, as well as with Cagliari and Chievo in Seria A before joining the Hornets.

He has also coached some of the best goalkeepers in Italian football including Lazio goalkeeper Federico Marchetti, AC Milan’s Samir Handanovic and Torino’s Jean-Francois Gillet and Vlada Avramov.

Youth Team (Under-18) Coach: David Hughes 

The Hornets appointed David Hughes to the position of Youth Team Coach in September 2011. He left a position as Head of Youth at Shrewsbury Town to take up a new challenge with Watford.  

A UEFA 'A' licenced coach, as well as being a qualified in Sports Science, Hughes had a playing career which started at Aston Villa and included spells with the Shrews and Cardiff City. 

He gained coaching experience within Cardiff's Academy set-up, as well as part of the Barry Town management team, before taking up the Head of Youth role in Shropshire in 2009.

Chief Scout: Filippo Giraldi

Fillippo Girladi spent an almost ten-year spell in Tuscany as General Director of Serie C side AC Prato between 2001 and 2011, prior to two years as Brescia Chief Scout and Academy Director. He adds a vast experience in football scouting to the Watford ranks, overseeing the club's scouting operation at home and abroad.

Scouting Co-Ordinator: Luke Warrington 

Luke Warrington is a domestic scout for Watford FC. A graduate from the University of Sussex, Luke previously worked as a QA Tester at Sports interactive for two years, as well as forming part of the scouting team at Portsmouth FC prior to joining Watford in July of 2012. 

Head of Medical: Marco Cesarini

Marco Cesarini joined the club in July 2012, becoming the club’s Head of Medical having previously plied his trade during two spells with Brescia in Serie A as an Osteopath, either side of holding the role of Head of Injury Prevention at West Ham United.  

Kit Manager: Will Jones

Jones is responsible for the training kit and match kit for all members of the football staff.

On a matchday he and his assistant Craig Charles are also responsible for the dressing rooms and all associated equipment for use by the various teams that Watford field. 

Sport Scientist: Ben Dixon

Dixon has been at Watford since 2008 where he started as an intern in the Sports Science department. He graduated from the University of Birmingham with a degree in Sports Science then went on to do an MSC in the subject at London Metropolitan University.

He spent the next two years as an intern with the Hornets before progressing to the Assistant Fitness Coach role in the 2010-11 season. He is responsible for the first team and U18s fitness and injured player rehabilitation.

Head Of Sports Science: Gianni Brignardello

Bio to follow...