Gillingham Chairman Paul Scally outlines how pleased he is to be able to unveil Justin Edinburgh as the club's new ManagerGillingham Chairman Paul Scally says he is delighted to welcome Justin Edinburgh to MEMS Priestfield Stadium as the club’s new Manager.
Edinburgh was unveiled to the media shortly before the 2-0 win over Sheffield United, with the Chairman revealing he was his preferred choice following the first interview with the former Tottenham Hotspur defender.
Speaking to the media he said: “We are delighted to welcome Justin, it’s been a three/four week difficult process for myself and our gang of four because we have all interviewed up to 15 candidates and we shortlisted three.
“We had second interviews and Justin was by far our preferred choice for a whole variety of reasons.
“In days gone by we have probably made appointments quite quickly and I felt this time, because I had great confidence in the team of management, and the players enjoyed the type of Football the gang of four tried to play, I wasn’t under the same sort of pressure.
“There was even a debate whether we should leave things as they were and when we spoke to the players in a small private survey some of the players felt we could leave it as it was, and I believe that aswell.
“But ultimately we would need to get a Manager, we interviewed Justin twice actually and I said if we can keep the consistency why not bring Justin in now as I didn’t want to go through the same process at the end of the season when we already knew we had a very good candidate that would fit into the culture of Gillingham Football Club.”
The Chairman thanked Edinburgh’s former club Newport County for their co-operation during the process and then highlighted the slight reshuffle within the backroom staff.
He added: “We’d like to place on record our thanks to Newport for the dignified and professional manner in which they dealt with this matter.
"It’s never an easy position I think for a club when they lose a Manager, and we’ve in that position ourselves in the past.
"We are very conscious that we wanted to keep the status quo at the Football Club because the gang of four have done such a magnificent job and the players very much enjoyed working with them.
“What we are doing is that Andy [Hessenthaler] is going to stay as number two to Justin, and Steve Lovell is going to step up from U18’s Coach to be First Team Coach with Darren going back to his role as Director of Youth Development and the Trust, which is a key role for us within the club and one that he does extremely well.
“But of course he will be working with the management team to take matters forward.
“We’ve just met the players and we asked them two weeks ago the type of Manager they think would be good for the Football Club and I think it’s important that the players have an input to the type of person we bring in, and for sure Justin fits the ball in every aspect so we are very pleased to keep the continuity going and we are pleased to have Justin on board.”
Edinburgh has agreed a two-and-a-half year deal.