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Hessenthaler bemoans Hendon loss

Filed: Wednesday, 20th July 2011
By: Staff Writer

Gillingham boss Andy Hessenthaler has admitted his disappointment at losing assistant manager Ian Hendon to West Ham.

The 39-year-old former Tottenham and Orient defender was officially unveiled as West Ham United's new Development Coach yesterday. His role will be to coach and oversee the team formerly known as the reserves which, as KUMB revealed last month, will not exist this term as a there is no reserve league at Championship level.

Speaking to Gillingham's club website, Hessenthaler revealed that Hendon had been lured to West Ham as a result of a call from Wally Downes, West Ham's current First Team Coach.

"The situation was that Wally, who worked with us last year, made a call to me and asked if they could offer him the job," said Hessenthaler. "I didn't want to lose Ian but, as a friend, I had to ask him the question.

"He wanted to speak to them and they offered him the job, so I couldn't stand in his way. I think the Chairman is looking into the situation at the moment but Ian has gone.

"We're disappointed, because he worked his socks off for this football club. He knows this division, he has got a lot of contacts within the game and he's well thought of. But, as a good friend of his, I appreciate that it is something that he wanted to do."

Hendon's first major test comes this Sunday when he takes a Development squad to Southern League Premier Division side Weymouth fora pre-season friendly.

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