Leyton Orient have announced that Andy Hessenthaler will join Ian Hendon’s backroom staff as assistant manager on a two-year contract.
The 49 year-old had been assistant manager at Gillingham under Justin Edinburgh after returning to the club for a third spell as part Peter Taylor’s backroom staff last summer. He also had a spell as joint caretaker manager following Taylor’s departure in December 2014.
Hessenthaler links up with Hendon having previously played with the Orient boss at Barnet as well as recruiting Hendon as his assistant while managing at Gillingham in 2010.
Hessenthaler’s first managerial role was as a player-manager at Gillingham in June 2000. He guided Gillingham to mid-table finishes in Division One in his first three seasons in charge. After only narrowly avoiding relegation in 2003/04, Hessenthaler resigned as manager in November 2004.
Hessenthaler returned to management in May 2007 with Dover Athletic (again carrying out his duties alongside a playing role). In his first season he led the Whites to Division One South title. He then helped Dover to claim the Isthmian League Premier Division title in 2008/09. After achieving consecutive promotions as champions, Dover reached the Conference play-offs, however they lost to Woking in the semi-finals.
In May 2010 Hessenthaler ended his long playing career at the age of 44 and he resigned as Dover boss.
He returned to Gillingham for a second spell as manager in 2010. The Gills finished 8th in League Two in consecutive seasons and following the 2011/12 season Hessenthaler left his managerial post to take up the role of Director of Footballat the Priestfield. He left the club in 2013, taking up a scouting role at Burnley but he returned to Gillingham last summer.
Despite the appointment of a new assistant manager, Kevin Nugent remains part of Hendon’s backroom staff and the O’s boss is keen to continue to work with Nugent.
Hessenthaler’s appointment comes just in time as the players return for pre-season training tomorrow (30th June).