Skip to main content

Watford FC Staff Profiles

Head Coach: Walter Mazzarri

Watford FC announced on May 21, 2016, it had reached agreement with Italian Walter Mazzarri to become Head Coach on a three-year contract with effect from July 1, 2016.

The 54-year-old, who enjoyed a 15-year playing career in his home country, has a wealth of experience managing in the top-flight in Italy.

During his time in Italy, Mazzarri twice reached the Coppa Italia final with Sampdoria and Napoli, winning the trophy with the latter as well as guiding them to a second-place Serie A finish.He was presented with the Enzo Bearzot award after being named Italian coach of the season in 2011/12, following an extremely successful campaign at Napoli.

Mazzarri's most recent appointment before arriving in Hertfordshire was made in 2013, when he joined Italian giants Inter Milan as Head Coach.

He started his coaching career in Serie C with Acireale and Pistoiese, before gaining promotion from Serie B to the top-flight with Livorno, and then overcoming an 11-point deduction to achieve Serie A survival with Reggina.

*2016/17 COACHING STAFF TO BE CONFIRMED IN DUE COURSE*

Assistant Coach: Antonio Diaz Carlavilla

Antonio Diaz Carlavilla joined the Hornets in June 2015 as Assistant Coach.


Born in Madrid in February 1968, Carlavilla worked for Spanish giants Real Madrid, coaching their Under-16s, 18s and 21s. 

He then spent periods with Spanish Third Division side C.D. Pegaso and C.D. San Viator in the Fourth Division, before joining Getafe in La Liga. 

Carlavilla’s wealth of experience also includes two periods in the UAE Pro-league with Al Ahli in 2011/12 and Al Ain in the 2013/14 season. 

Assistant Coach: Alberto Giraldez

Born in April 1960, Alberto Giraldez was appointed Assistant Coach at The Vic in the summer of 2015. 

Giraldez has previously plied his trade as Head of Youth Development at Sporting Cristal in Peru before coaching in Spain for Celta Vigo, Sevilla and Valencia. 

He acted as Coaching Director at Real Madrid between 2009 and 2012, having previously spent five years with the club between 2001 and 2006. 

Assistant Coach: Dean Austin

Born in Hemel Hempstead, ex-Tottenham Hotspur defender Dean Austin was named the Hornets' Assistant Coach in January 2015.

He was previously Assistant Manager at Vicarage Road during Brendan Rodgers' time at the club from 2008-09, and had also featured for Watford's Academy as a schoolboy.

Austin made nearly 450 appearances during a playing career which included spells with Spurs, Southend United and Crystal Palace.

Goalkeeping Coach: Paolo De Toffol

Paolo De Toffol joined the Hornets' 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.

Vastly experienced as a coach with over 10 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.

Goalkeeping Development 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 takes a keen interest in the development of the younger 'keepers at the club. 

Chief Scout: Filippo Giraldi

Fillippo Giraldi spent an almost 10-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.

Kit Manager: Will Jones

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

On a matchday he is also responsible for the dressing rooms and all associated equipment for use by the various teams that Watford field. 

Head of Medical: Richard Collinge


Richard Collinge returned to Vicarage Road as Head of Medical in February 2015. 

Having started as an Academy physio in 2002, Collinge worked his way up the ranks before leaving the club in 2011 with former boss Malky Mackay to join Cardiff City. 

He followed Mackay to Wigan Athletic, where he stayed before rejoining the Hornets.

Head Of Sports Science: Gianni Brignardello


Gianni Brignardello has been with Watford since the start of the 2013/14 season.

Brignardello is head of the Sports Science department, with a depth of experience having previously worked in Italy with Sampdoria, Chievo Verona and Parma.

Sport Scientist: Ben Dixon

Ben Dixon has been at Watford since 2008 when he started as an intern in the Sports Science department. He graduated from the University of Birmingham with a degree in Sports Science and 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 Under-18s fitness and injured player rehabilitation.

Head Of Prevention & Osteopath: Daniel Reguera


Daniel Reguera, who studied physiotherapy at the University of Madrid, has been with Watford since the start of the 2013/14 season.

Reguera has a wealth of experience, having previously worked in sports physiotherapy with Real Madrid, Granada and Udinese.

First-Team Sports Rehabilitation: Mike Spanou


Joining the Hornets in 2012, Mike Spanou aids the players as part of the club's Sports Rehabilitation team.

Having previously worked for Wolverhampton Wanderers, England's lacrosse team and several private clinics, Spanou now provides bed-based treatment and gym-based rehabilitation.

He also leads injury prevention sessions to keep the squad as fresh as possible.

First-Team Sports Rehabilitation: Moto Watanabe


Moto Watanabe has more than 10 years of experience treating a wide variety of musculoskeletal injuries in both the sports industry and clinical settings.

Watanabe joined the Hornets in October 2012 after previously working in Tokyo, where he worked with amateur and professional athletes, including in sports such as judo and sumo.