Orient is a fresh challenge for me, says new number two

Andy Hessenthaler on the touchline during his spell in charge of Gillingham (pic: Mike Egerton/EMPIC

Andy Hessenthaler on the touchline during his spell in charge of Gillingham (pic: Mike Egerton/EMPICS). - Credit: Empics Sports Photography Ltd.

Andy Hessenthaler discusses leaving Gillingham to join Ian Hendon again and become assistant manager at Brisbane Road

Gillingham assistant manager Ian Hendon (left) and manager Andy Hessenthaler (right) on the touchlin

Gillingham assistant manager Ian Hendon (left) and manager Andy Hessenthaler (right) on the touchline (pic: Mike Egerton/EMPICS). - Credit: Empics Sports Photography Ltd.

Leyton Orient’s new assistant manager Andy Hessenthaler has admitted it was tough to leave Gillingham but is excited to be working with Ian Hendon again.

It was confirmed earlier this morning that the 49-year-old would be leaving his role as assistant manager to Justin Edinburgh at Prestfield and moving to Brisbane Road to take up the same role with the O’s.

Hessenthaler has a massive affiliation with the Gills and although he conceded it was difficult to leave the League One outfit, the chance to work with Orient’s head coach was too good to turn down.

The experienced ace played alongside Hendon at Barnet before appointing him as his assistant at Gillingham in the summer of 2010.


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On leaving Gillingham, Hessenthaler told their official club website: “This was an incredibly difficult decision as I’ve had a 20-year relationship with Gillingham and I love the football club.

“However I felt it’s a fresh challenge for me, I’ll be working with Ian again who I’ve spent time with in the past and I look forward to what lies ahead. That said I’m disappointed to be cutting short my working relationship with Justin.

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“He’s been fantastic since he walked through the door and he’s definitely the right person to take this club forward.

“We’ve become close friends and I wish him, and everybody at the club, the very best of luck.”

Gillingham boss Edinburgh expressed his regret at seeing Hessenthaler go but wished him all the best at Orient.

“I’m sad to see Andy go but I understand his decision and I can only offer him success in his new role,” Edinburgh added.

“He’s been excellent since I arrived at the club in February, we’ve worked very well together and I’m sure everyone will be as grateful for his efforts as I am, and wish him well in the challenge that he now takes on.”

Hessenthaler will officially start work as Orient assistant manager on July 1 (Wednesday) when his contract with Gillingham comes to an end.

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