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More movers and shakers in Kent football

THERE has been more movement at managerial level in Kent football over the New Year period, writes Stephen McCartney.

Adrian Pennock, Gravesend & Northfleet's assistant manager has been appointed as the new boss of Nationwide Conference South side Welling United. Terry Fenwick has resigned as manager at struggling Ryman League Division One club Ashford Town and their rivals Bromley now have three former managers at the helm at the same time.

Pennock, the former Gillingham, Bournemouth and Norwich City defender, has been at Stonebridge Road for the past 16 months and will take charge for Saturday's trip to Weston-super-Mare.

The 33-year-old saw off competition from caretaker boss Liam Daish - who enjoyed a four-match unbeaten run - to earn his first managerial post.

Wings general manager Graham Hobbins confirmed: "We're delighted that Adrian has agreed to join us because he was our number one choice.

"We wanted someone young and enthusiastic that was stepping out of being an assistant manager and was ready for a number one job."

Pennock added: "I've been handed this fantastic opportunity with Welling and I really can't put into words how excited I feel about the challenge."

Meanwhile, former Wings player and Margate coach, Phil Handford has been appointed assistant manager.

In a statement, the Park View Road outfit said: "Both Pennock and Handford are local to the Kent area and have an in-depth knowledge of the local football scene.

"This factor was to become the key reason for choosing the pair over the temporary incumbent Liam Daish, who had applied for the position and had guided the team to three victories and one draw in the four games he managed since Paul Parker's departure at the beginning of December.

"The club would like to express their gratitude to Daish and Nigel Gurney for their support and effort during December and emphasise that the decision was not taken lightly and proved to be a difficult final appointment."

Former England international Terry Fenwick has resigned as manager of Ashford Town after a run of poor results has seen the club slide back into the relegation zone in the Ryman League first division.

Fenwick has been working with the squad since the beginning of September after coming in as coach to help out owner Tim Thorogood, who stepped aside to become the club's Director of Football and the former Spurs midfielder was appointed manager in the middle of October.

Thorogood will take charge of the team again for the trip to Banstead Athletic, a crucial "six-pointer" against the Merland Rise club, who are one place above and four points better of than the Homelands outfit.

Fenwick's reign has been marred by a run of poor results after a bright initial period but the main problem has been a vast influx and departure of players which has never allowed the squad to settle into any sort of rhythm.

Players have come and gone with bewildering regularity mostly because many failed to come up to standard as Ashford struggled to make any impact in the division.

Following the departure of Billy Smith, former player Jimmy Bolton has been appointed as the new manager of Nationwide Conference South strugglers Carshalton Athletic.

Smith teams up with George Wakeling - who has helped Ryman League Division One club Bromley climb up to second in the table, winning five league games out of five and goalkeeper Andy Walker keeping five clean sheets in the process.

Smith blamed financial cut-backs for his decision to quit Colston Avenue to re-join the Hayes Lane outfit.

Smith said: "When George Wakeling left, I was told I'll still have to cut back another 250, and it gets on top of you and the job was getting me down too.

"I looked ahead a month from now and I felt I couldn't compete with the other six or so sides in the bottom half, not with another set of budget cutbacks and with the injury list getting longer.

"I can't knock the people at the club and the directors.  They've put their own money into the club to keep it going and they love the club but I think I've gone as far as I can as the manager there.

"I was told last month that I need a heart bypass and I'm waiting for a date to be set and I guess with the wife and others nagging me to slow down, it's another reason why I'm leaving Carshalton -  but football is my life.

"I'll go and watch a game as often as I can but in the meantime I'm going to go and help George (Wakeling) out at Bromley.

"I was going to go there with George as my assistant but I didn't want to leave Carshalton then, it was only after the range of cuts I thought I've done all that I can.

"I do wish everyone at Carshalton all the best as I have very fond memories of the place and the people."

Bromley now have three former managers in their management team with Wakeling, Smith and Frank Coles all having spells in charge previously and are all now back in the same dug-out.

Wakeling was first appointed in the summer of 1990 after a successful spell in charge of Leyton-Wingate and guided Bromley back to the Ryman Premier Division in his first season.  He won the Kent Senior Cup twice and the London Challenge Cup during his time at the club before leaving in February 1999 to join Ashford Town.

He then helped Hastings United to win the Southern League Eastern Division title before two seasons as Smith's assistant at Carshalton Athletic before coming back "home" in December 2004.

Coles played 469 games for Bromley and was honoured when he was offered the Bromley managers job when Wakeling moved to Ashford.

Coles reflected: "I was disappointed that it never worked out in my first spell.

"Former Bishop's Stortford manager Dave Edwards was sacked as manager in October 1999 and the club brought in Billy Smith, which was a great move.

"Bill had lots of experience and turned the team around in two games but he had committed himself to Crawley Town so he suggested that I should take over as manager again.

"We did well that season finishing in ninth place in the Ryman League division."

In 2000 fans favourite Coles moved to tennants Cray Wanderers and spent two seasons with the Kent League club as player-assistant to Ian Jenkins.

Meanwhile, that figure could rise to four if you count current goalkeeping coach Derek Parnham.  He was part of the brief, three match management team with chairman Jerry Dolke and skipper John Myatt when Stuart McIntyre first left the club in December 2003.

The Ravens then turned to former Tonbridge Angels boss Alan Walker at the end of December 2003, but he only lasted four games before McIntyre returned in the middle of January 2004 for a twelve month spell before Wakeling's return.