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New Gillingham manager Andy Hessenthaler can't wait to get started at Priestfield

Andy Hessenthaler
Andy Hessenthaler

by Luke Cawdell

Andy Hessenthaler returns to Priestfield with the task of bringing back the good times – and he can’t wait to get started.

He was handed the manager’s position by Gillingham chairman Paul Scally during a whirlwind visit to the Middle East over the weekend.

On his return to England on Sunday, Hessenthaler (pictured) said: "I’m excited and to come back into the League is something I’ve always wanted to do. The opportunity came up at my old club and I can’t wait to get going.

"I’ll be making sure I give absolutely everything I’ve got to this football club."

Hessenthaler was last manager of the club five and a half years ago. In 2003 he guided the Gills to their best ever finish in the Football League – 11th place in the Championship.

During his previous four-year stint he was still playing but now Hessenthaler is back as a manager, and a manager only.

"There will be no registering – definitely not," the 44-year-old insisted.

"I’ll be able to focus as a manager and a coach and not on playing football. I certainly think that will benefit me and the football club."

Hessenthaler has spent the last three seasons at Dover, taking them to two successive titles, before guiding them to runners-up spot in Blue Square South last season.

He quit Dover on Thursday to pave the way for his appointment at Gillingham and by that evening he was on the way to visit Mr Scally in Dubai. On Friday he had the job.

Hessenthaler was joined in Dubai by Mark Robson, last season’s first team coach, who was appointed as his right-hand man.

"We’re two small blokes with a lot of fire in our bellies and we both played the game with a lot of passion. He’ll bring a lot to the table and I’m sure we can learn from each other," said the new Gills boss.

"It’s going to be a busy week and It’s important to me that I get to know the players and have a one to one with them all. After that we can start indentifying new players for the team."

Do you think Hessenthaler is the right man for the job? Do you think he will be able to bring back the good times? Have your say below.

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