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Legend Hessenthaler returns home to Gillingham PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 22 May 2010
RELEGATED Gillingham have yesterday reappointed former boss Andy Hessenthaler as manager.

Chairman Paul Scally has also confirmed the appointment of Mark Robson as assistant manager. 

Hessenthaler, who was Gillingham's player-manager between 2000 and 2004, quit Blue Square South neighbours Dover Athletic on Thursday. 

The 44-year-old former midfielder has been the front-runner for the job since Mark Stimson's departure last week. 

Hessenthaler joined Gillingham as a player in 1996 after five years at Watford. 

During his first stint at the Priestfield Stadium, he made more than 300 appearances over 10 years and after succeeding Peter Taylor as manager in 2000, guided them to their highest ever position in the Football League - 11th place in the second tier in the 2002/03 season.

Despite standing down as manager in November 2004, with the Gills second from bottom of the Championship, he remained at the club as a player, joining Hull on loan before finally leaving Gillingham after nearly 10 years at the club. 

He finished his playing career with a short spell at Barnet. 

Appointed as Dover Athletic boss in 2007, Hessenthaler led them to back-to-back promotions in the Ryman League but they lost in this season's Blue Square South play-offs. 

Robson had been part of Stimson's coaching staff, having previously coached at Charlton, one of his former clubs as a player. 

Dover Athletic chairman Jim Parmenter has said his side can get back to the Conference within two years, despite manager Hessenthaler's departure. 

"It's the end of an era but not the end of the world. We will continue our plan," Mr Parmenter told BBC Radio Kent. 

"We've got two years left to get this club into the conference." 

He added: "I've already had calls and CVs from good quality candidates so I'm looking to appoint somebody very quickly." 

Mr Parmenter, who insisted there were no hard feelings between himself and Hessenthaler, thinks the club still has the right ingredients to be successful next season.

"Unfortunately, we've only got five players on contract at the moment but we've got several others with offers on the table," admitted Mr Parmenter. 

"But the rest of the infrastructure is here - the club's got an 'A' grading for the ground. It's got a good fan base and we're financially secure. 

"The playing budget will be significantly larger so it will be a very attractive job." 

Dover Athletic first won promotion to the Football Conference in the 1989-90 season but their ground did not meet the required standard. 

Three seasons later they gained promotion to the Conference again, where they spent nine seasons before being relegated in 2002. 

Article courtesy of BBC Radio Kent - www.bbc.co.uk/kent/sport 
Last Updated ( Saturday, 22 May 2010 )
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