Forest Green Rovers signed Watford defender Dale Bennett this afternoon on a two-and-a-half year deal.
Just turned 23, Bennett has been in the senior squad at Vicarage Road since 2008 after coming through The Hornets renowned academy system which has produced Paul Robinson and Ashley Young.
Playing predominantly as a central defender, Bennett will fill the squad position vacated by Chris Todd who moved to Eastleigh earlier in the transfer window. He will wear shirt number six.
Bennett has played 25 times for Watford, including 22 appearances in the League Championship, but has fallen out of favour in the past 18 months – going out on loan to Brentford (League One), AFC Wimbledon (League Two) and Yeovil Town (League One).
As an 18-year-old, Bennett was also loaned to Kettering Town during the 2008/09 season, playing for the then Conference National side 23 times, including the Poppies 2-0 win against Forest Green at The New Lawn.
Rovers' link with Watford, where manager David Hockaday formerly ran youth development, has brought current first team regulars Al Bangura, Eddie Oshodi, Keiron Forbes, and Jamie Collins to The New Lawn.