FOREST Green boss David Hockaday has returned to his former club to sign Watford central defender Dale Bennett on a two-and-half deal, this afternoon.

The 23-year-old will fill the squad position vacated by Chris Todd, who moved to Eastleigh earlier in the transfer window.

Rovers’ link with Watford has previously brought Al Bangura, Eddie Oshodi, Keiron Forbes, and Jamie Collins to the New Lawn.

Bennett has been in the senior squad at Vicarage Road since 2008 after coming through the Hornets renowned academy.

Bennett has played a total of 25 times for Watford, including 22 appearances in the Championship, but has fallen out of favour in the past 18 months – going out on loan to League One sides Yeovil, Brentford and League Two outfit AFC Wimbledon.

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.