Haverfordwest County AFC are delighted to confirm that, following our European qualification, a clause in the contract of manager Tony Pennock has been triggered, activating a one-year extension to his current deal.
Having become the first Bluebirds boss to guide the club to contintental qualification since 2004, Pennock’s contract will now run until the end of the 2024-25 season.
The 52-year-old masterminded a remarkable end to the season which saw the Town go unbeaten in their last seven matches of the regular season, ensuring we finished top of the JD Cymru Premier Play-Off Conference and qualified for the European play-offs.
From there, County defeated Cardiff Metropolitan 4-3 on penalties at Cyncoed Campus in the semi-final, before dramatically edging past Newtown via the same method and identical scoreline at Latham Park on Saturday.
This watershed moment signals the beginning of a new dawn for the club, who had spent much of the last two decades either in the second tier or towards the bottom of the top-flight, and represents something tangible to celebrate following years of hard work behind the scenes.
Sylwadau / Reaction – Tony Pennock 🎤
“Lady Luck’s on our side, so thankfully we’ll take it” @HaverfordwestFC yn mynd i Ewrop ✈️🏆#JDCymruPremier 🏴 pic.twitter.com/n3JgJIlqOj
— Sgorio ⚽️ (@sgorio) May 13, 2023
This achievement is made even more impressive by the fact that this was Pennock’s first season in charge, after the former goalkeeper arrived in Pembrokeshire in July, with pre-season having already got under way.
Since then, there have been many ups and downs in what was a rollercoaster campaign. However, in what is his first permanent managerial role, the former Hull City first team coach was able to expertly guide the team to success, with the scenes in Powys after the shoot-out certain to remain with Bluebirds supporters for many years to come.
Commenting on the news, chairman Rob Edwards said: “We are delighted to trigger Tony’s contract extension. With him coming in during pre-season with a ready-built squad is not the ideal scenario for any manager, or the club, but the achievements this season have been incredible and we want Tony not just to lead us into Europe next season, but the season after too.
“This group of players and coaching team will go down in the history books, and, based on this achievement in his first season with the club, Tony will go down as one of the best managers the club has had, and as a board we are delighted to extend our working relationship further.”
Pennock also shared his thoughts, stating: “I’m obviously still getting over the result on the weekend, but I always knew in the back of my mind that if we did qualify for Europe, it would trigger an extension to my contract, so I’m just pleased for the club that we’ve managed to achieve getting in to Europe.
“We haven’t got long to plan, but it’s a good problem to have, I’d rather that than twiddling my thumbs over the next few weeks.
“I’ll be busy speaking with the boys out of contract over the next few days, and we’ll know where we’re at before we return for our European preparations.”