Tony Pennock has spoken of his excitement after being confirmed as the new First Team Manager of Haverfordwest County.
The 51-year-old was announced as Nicky Hayen’s replacement on Friday, and will shortly get to work ahead of the official start of our pre-season schedule on July 12.
Pennock recently left his role as First Team Coach at English Championship side Hull City after six years in the role, having also worked as the Tigers’ Head of Academy between 2014 and 2016.
Speaking shortly after his appointment was confirmed, the Welshman said: “I’m excited by the challenge ahead. I had a number of conversations with Rob [Edwards] and the board over the last week or so, and their ambitions match mine, so I’m looking forward to becoming the First Team Manager.”
Pennock, a goalkeeper who played over 400 times in a 20-year career on the pitch, has also worked for Swansea City, where he was Academy Manager for five years between 2008 and 2013.
With an excellent coaching pedigree at the top of the professional game, Pennock decided that now is the right time to make the move into management on a permanent basis, having managed Aberystwyth Town for the final three games of the 2016-17 season in the then-Welsh Premier League.
“I decided to leave Hull at the end of the season to pursue a new challenge as a manager and, having had conversations with a number of people, I just feel the time is right.
“When Rob got in touch to come back [to Wales] and manage Haverfordwest County, I just think it was too good an offer to turn down.”
The fact that numerous players in the Bluebirds squad have experienced professional football in the early stages of their careers means they have crossed paths with their new manager at various stages, something which will benefit Pennock when it comes to getting to know his squad more closely.
“I’m definitely not coming into the club not knowing anybody or not knowing much about the players,” he said. “I’m familiar with quite a few of the lads in the group from their younger days when they were at Swansea City, Cardiff City or other league clubs.
“So I do know a few of the lads and I know the experience they’ve got in the Cymru Premier, and I’m looking forward to working with Gary [Richards] and the other staff, and hopefully having a good season.”
Pennock was speaking at Fairwood Training Ground just after County had played 90 minutes against Swansea City in their first pre-season outing, an experience he believes will benefit the team going forward.
“It was an excellent exercise,” he said. “Hopefully everyone is going to be OK from the game. It was a tough game for the lads, playing against opposition as good as Swansea are, they’re a top Championship club so the boys can really learn from the experience and hopefully it puts them in good stead for the rest of pre-season now.”