Former Watford Academy director John McDermott is to take over as technical director of the Football Association at the start of next year.

The Hornets' first football in the community officer will step up from his position of assistant technical director to replace Les Reed, who had returned to the role in February 2019.

McDermott, who moved to Vicarage Road in 1992 when the Hornets established their Football in the Community department and went on to become Academy director, joined the FA from Tottenham Hotspur in March where he had overseen the development of players including Harry Kane and Harry Winks.

“The Football Association has confirmed Les Reed will leave his role as technical director at the end of the year, with John McDermott stepping up as his successor,” the FA announced in a statement.

Reed, 67, is in his third stint as an FA employee and said he had been keen to leave the organisation in a strong position for the future.

“I would like to thank everyone in the technical division for their dedication and diligence through a challenging period for us all,” he said.

“I was delighted to have been given the opportunity to return to The FA and had hoped that by now we would have returned victorious from the 2020 UEFA Euro and the Olympics.

“Instead my work has been focused on making sure we are in the best possible shape going forward to compete at all levels.”

“With the impact to the international calendar due to the pandemic, and the men’s and women’s Euros being pushed back, I felt it was the right time for someone else to take on the challenge to ensure consistency of leadership through this busy tournament period to the 2024 Euro in Germany – and John was always the right person to lead this,” added Reed.

“I am confident we have put in place the right framework to give us every chance of winning a major tournament in the next four years.”

McDermott will lead the search for a new assistant technical director, having worked closely with Reed since his move from Spurs.