Suffolk-born manager Pennock delighted to be handed Gillingham job, after ‘flabbergasting’ Forest Green exit

Ady Pennock

Ady Pennock - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Suffolk’s Ady Pennock is delighted to be back in the Football League after being appointed as manager of League One side, Gillingham.

The 45-year-old, who grew up in Chantry, in Ipswich, took charge of his first game as Gills boss last Saturday – the Kent club losing 1-0 at Oldham Athletic, who also had a new boss in the dugout, in the form of John Sheridan.

Pennock and his coaching team, which includes former Braintree Town manager Jamie Day, faces a daunting second game at the helm on Saturday when he takes the Priestfield outfit to League One leaders, Sheffield United.

“It’s great to be back, it’s a good challenge, an exciting challenge, and I am back where I had one of my most successful times as a player,” said ex-centre-back Pennock, who played over 200 matches for the Gills.

“I have not had a home game yet and my first one will be on Tuesday night (against Wimbledon).

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“I still live in Gillingham with my family and I have had lots of good wishes and people wishing me luck, so I am looking forward to it.

“When we did well in the early-2000s, Priestfield was a very daunting place to come for visiting teams and we had a very special relationship with the fans, so long may that continue.”

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Pennock previously worked at non-league Welling, as a football consultant, to then-manager Day, the pair winning all six games of their matches in charge, before the duo linked up at Gillingham.

He was last in charge in a first-team manager capacity at National League Forest Green, where he was sacked last April, a week before the play-offs, having secured second place in the division.

“It was their (Forest Green) decision and they did not think they would win the play-offs with me in charge,” explained Pennock, who watched his former side go on and lose in the play-off final to Grimsby Town.

“I was flabbergasted, I still am. We had progressed every single season on and off the pitch and, to this day, I believe we would have got promoted.

“But I believe everything happens for a reason and it is great to be back in football management.”

As for his sidekick Day, Pennock added: “Jamie was my assistant manager at Forest Green and he is a very good coach and is somebody that I trust.”

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