Wokingham native Whitehouse, aged 30, takes the reigns at the Lowther Road club for its first season in the Cherry Red Records Combined Counties Premier Division North.

Most recently, Whitehouse was assistant manager at Marlow at the start of the pandemic and, as a player, his former clubs include Henley Town, Hartley Wintney, Reading Town Woodley United, Hungerford Town, and Burnham. At youth level he also played for Reading, Wycombe Wanderers, and Crystal Palace. He has also coached Reading Women and its Community Trust.

Steve Williams, Chairman of Wokingham & Emmbrook FC, said: “Elliott was the most appropriate candidate for our club. He’s a local lad who has been involved with local teams throughout his career.”

He revealed the club received 20 applications for the vacancy.

Mark Ashwell, President of Wokingham & Emmbrook FC, added that Eliot’s energy and enthusiasm stood out during the interview process.

Whitehouse holds a UEFA ‘B’ coaching license and was thrilled to be given his first managerial opportunity above youth level.

Describing himself as a centre-back but a centre-forward at heart, he was released by Wycombe Wanderers as a 14-year-old following a serious injury.

Speaking just hours after being appointed, he said: “It’s been pretty overwhelming, but I’m truly buzzing more than anything.”

His expectations for the season are realistic for a team that is competing at the higher, step 5 level for the first time. He will be satisfied with a mid-table position.

And in terms of what Wokingham’s supporters can expect to see, he said: “This season we will be a forward-thinking and forward passing team. I’d like to create a whole club feel, right from the youngest players with a style of playing throughout the club. Hopefully, it aids the first team.”

He also expects to be a familiar face at many of Wokingham & Emmbrook’s matches, from youngsters through to the Allied Counties, Suburban League and women’s team.

Whitehouse is a lifelong Reading FC supporter, and he will be introduced to the team ahead of next Tuesday’s league match at Abbey Rangers.