Haverfordwest County AFC are delighted to announce that manager Tony Pennock has agreed a new one-year extension to his current deal with the club, which takes him through to the end of the 2025-26 season.
Pennock took charge of the Bluebirds in the summer of 2022, after making the decision to transition from coaching to management having spent over eight years with English Football League side, Hull City, with his career also taking in almost nine years in a number of roles at Swansea City. His first competitive game in charge was the 4-2 victory over Barry Town United in the Nathaniel MG Cup on August 5, 2022.
In his first season in charge he guided County to a seventh place finish in the JD Cymru Premier, in a campaign which saw us break club records for the highest finishing position, most wins, most goals scored and fewest goals conceded in a 12-team top-flight season – feats which were achieved with the youngest squad in the division.
Having gone unbeaten in our final seven games of the regular season, the Town entered the end-of-season European play-offs alongside Bala Town, Cardiff Metropolitan and Newtown, and over the course of two unforgettable weekends we claimed a pair of penalty shoot-out victories away at the Archers and the Robins, which saw Pennock become just the second Bluebirds boss – after Deryn Brace in 2004 – to guide the club into Europe.
The landmark moments didn’t end there though as he masterminded arguably the stand-out result of the UEFA Europa Conference League first qualifying round, which saw the Bluebirds upset the odds to knock out North Macedonian outfit KF Shkëndija – who were the third-highest ranked team in the draw. Trailing 1-0 after the first leg, County levelled the tie through Lee Jenkins’ late equaliser, before we once again triumphed on penalties to break new ground and become the first Haverfordwest County team to win a European tie.
Although we were edged out by B36 Tórshavn of the Faroe Islands in the next round, Pennock and his team had shown their capabilities on the big stage, providing the league with a much-needed boost in the process.
Under Pennock’s leadership to date, we have recorded 25 wins, scored 83 goals, picked up 67 points and kept 15 clean sheets in competitive action. The current state of play sees us occupying eighth place in the JD Cymru Premier, three points off the top six with six games to go in Phase One, and the fantastic 2-1 win away at second place Connah’s Quay Nomads last Sunday means Pennock’s side can take momentum and added confidence into the remainder of the phase.
Commenting on the news, chairman Rob Edwards said: “We are delighted to have extended Tony’s contract for an extra year.
“We always knew Tony would be a successful appointment for the club, and he hasn’t let us down.
“He buys in to, and encourages, our ethos of developing young and hungry footballers, and we can see that by the age of the squad, despite the injuries that have plagued us in the last few years.
“I think our mutual commitment to the relationship shows we are a long-term thinking club, and want all those involved inside and outside the club to buy in to our ambition.”
Pennock expressed his thoughts, adding: “When Rob spoke to me about extending my contract, it didn’t take long for me to say yes. I believe in what the board want to achieve, and I want to play a part in that.
“We’ve started planning for next season already, but know we have a lot of important games ahead of us and so much more to improve, on and off the pitch.
“It’s been an eventful 18 months so far. I’m happy in Pembrokeshire and want to carry on the work we’ve started as a club.
“As long as everyone buys into our plans, I’m certain we will have lots to enjoy together.”