When John Salomon was appointed first-team manager of Watford Ladies, the club’s chairman Chris Crickitt stated the Hornets were in “safe hands”.
Just over a year later they have proved very wise words as Salomon was named Premier League Coach of the Year at the FA Women’s Football awards.
Salomon, who took charge of the first team 13 months ago, was presented the award by England coach Hope Powell and he said to receive the honour was a “big moment”.
He explained: “It was a very proud, and certainly surprising, moment.
“It is definitely the biggest prize I’ve won personally and it was something I was very proud of to go and collect it.
“It was great to receive the award from Hope Powell. She was given the introduction about what she has achieved with England and Team GB, so to be handed the award by her was a big moment.”
Prior to his appointment last year, Watford looked certain to be relegated from the Premier League after a disastrous start to the season.
However, promoting Salomon from reserve-team boss to manger saw a change in fortunes for the Hornets.
They began to pick up victories and, although they relied on other results going their way, escaped the drop.
Salomon stated the award is credit for the work everybody has put into the club in the past year.
He said: “It is nice to have the recognition from the FA. It is good to get the recognition for everybody at the club. While I went up and collected it, and it does have my name on it, the award is very much for everybody.
“Getting the award comes from the hard work and the passion everybody has put in over the past year.
“We’ve had good results and gained success in the steps we have taken.
“We had training on Friday night and we shared it with the players and told them it was an award for everybody.”
The Hornets have started this season well and currently sit fourth in the Premier League with 11 points from their opening six matches.
It shows the progress the club has made under Salomon as the Golden Girls only achieved a total of 17 points in the last campaign.
The Hornets boss admits the club are targeting an improved position this season.
He added: “It is a close league but I’m sure we can do well with the confidence and momentum we have got at the moment.
“We set ourselves a goal this season of beating our points total from the last campaign. But we are only a third of the way through the season and we are just seven points off that.
“So we are obviously aiming higher now but we take it game by game and we go into every match to win regardless of who we are playing.”
After his successful first year in charge, what are Salomon’s aims for the future?
He answered: “I just want to keep making the club as successful as it can be. I want to keep working as hard as I can with the players and see how far we can take the club.
“Watford have been a Premier League club for a few years now but it is one that has been in mid-table or fighting relegation.
“So we want to take it up to the next step and start challenging at the right end of the table. So that is our aim over the next few years, we want to make sure we are competitive at the high end,” Salomon added.
Elsewhere, Watford Ladies Under-12s defeated Berkhamsted Raiders 6-0 thanks to a Gemma Reynolds hat-trick, while Holly Williams and Louise Chick were also on target for the victors.
The Under-10s were held to a 1-1 draw with Bury Rangers, with Charlie Clark on target for the Hornets.