Hannah Dingley’s caretaker spell as the only female manager in the top four tiers has come to an end after less than a fortnight.

Forest Green Rovers have instead appointed Southampton’s Under-23’s coach David Horseman as the permanent successor to Duncan Ferguson ahead of their upcoming League Two season.

Horseman will be assisted at the club by Louis Carey, the former Bristol City captain who has also been working with Southampton’s academy in recent years.

Dingley became the first woman to take charge of an English Football League club on July 6 as Forest Green began their pre-season campaign with a 1-1 draw against non-league Melksham Town.

The academy manager of four years had stepped up on an interim basis immediately after Ferguson’s brief reign came to an end earlier this month.

A former university lecturer, Dingley had already been the only woman in charge of a men’s academy at an EFL club.

However, while she will continue to lead the team for pre-season friendlies against Coventry City and Everton Under-21s this week, Forest Green have instead turned to Horseman as the long-term replacement. Last season, the 39-year-old had assisted interim former Southampton first-team boss Ruben Selles, acting as a first-team coach while also continuing to lead the B team last term.

Dale Vince, the club’s chairman, said: “We’re delighted to have David join as our Head Coach, he brings a wealth of experience and a modern approach to the game which matches our own - and he very much stood out from over 100 applicants for the role.

“I’m grateful to Hannah for holding the fort for the club while we went through the complete recruitment process and although she did not get the top job this time, it’s undoubtedly been a valuable experience and a big step on her career path.”

“We’re also pleased to welcome Louis to the team as David’s assistant.”

Horseman previously spent over a decade at Bristol City as well as nearly three years at Watford. Horseman said: “I’m extremely excited and grateful that Dale, Asif and Allan have given me the opportunity to lead a team which has such strong values both on and off the pitch.”

“Louis and I have been lucky to be involved for a long time in professional football and study from some elite coaches which we will bring some ideas with us. The supporters can look forward to seeing a team with energy and aggression and one that they can be proud.”