Andy Hessenthaler seeking new challenge after leaving Priestfield
Andy Hessenthaler said it was the right time to leave the club and is now looking forward to taking on a new challenge elsewhere.
Andy left his position as Director of Football on Wednesday after Chairman Paul Scally agreed to terminate his contract, and despite having enjoyed the role he has performed in the last year, he is eager to get back in to coaching or management.
Speaking exclusively to the club’s official website he said: “I had a really good conversation with the Chairman over the last couple of days. Earlier on in the season the Chairman did have a conversation with another club about speaking to me to become their Manager.
“At the time he asked me to stay at the football club and get the job done that we all set out to do at the start of the season, and that was promotion.
“I was enjoying things and it was going well, I respected that and wanted to do that so I stayed. But now the season has finished and we have all achieved what we set out to do and be champions, it’s a phenomenal effort by everybody.
“I just feel I am ready to get back on the training ground and get my boots on because I do miss that and that’s the reason we have come to this decision and I know the Chairman reluctantly terminated my contract, but we are friends and we always will be.
“He has been my boss on and off a couple of times and we’ve shared a lot of highs and lows and I’m very close to his family and he’s close to mine.
“This is a club that I have spent the majority of my career at and I’ve loved every minute of it. To leave the club in a position where we have been promoted and been champions I am absolutely delighted because I’m leaving on a high.
“It’s a sad day but it’s the right day and the right decision.”
Andy thanked the fans and everyone at the club for the continuous support he has received, but says he will be back to watch games in future and support the team further.
He added: “The day I walked in to the club under Tony Pulis there was a rapport and a relationship straight away with the fans and that has carried on for many years.
“Even when we had some tough times they were still there for us, they travel home and away and spend a lot of money following the club and that’s why I am so pleased for them this season because they have got their rewards.
“They deserve it more than anyone because of the money they spend to come and watch us. I thank the fans for what they have done for me and I will still be talking about Gillingham Football Club, I walk down the street and bump in to someone every day and talk about it.
“It’s in my blood, I have a room at home which is all blue and has the memorabilia in it. It’s been a fantastic time for me and my family but I’m ready for a new challenge.
“I want to get back in as quick as I can and if there is an opportunity that comes along then great. I need a couple of days to recover because it’s been a long year. I was involved in the interview process with the Chairman and it was a long summer.
“I’ve made myself available and maybe I get a call from a club that is looking to get a new coach or manager in that can drive the club forward.”
To watch the first part of Andy’s exclusive interview on Gills Player click here.