Gillingham manager Andy Hessenthaler is looking to find a replacement for the outgoing Ian Hendon as soon as possible after the former assistant manager joined West Ham United as a development coach.

The former Barnet and Dover manager began his playing career with Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient.

And Hendon said he couldn't resist a move back into the big time.

"Every coach, player, manager and probably chairman wants to move on to bigger football clubs and I'm no different," he said.

"To go to a place like West Ham and work with the talented players they have got there is exciting."

Now left without a member of his backroom staff heading into the new season, Hessenthaler says finding a replacement is his No.1 priority.

 

"There is a void here and I am looking to bring somebody in. I'll sit down with the chairman to see which way we go with that.

"I like doing the coaching. However, if you look around the country and speak to other managers, you see they have their coaches but then they put their mark on sessions leading up to the game.

"I don't know whether we'll have another assistant manager. It would more likely be a coach but it's doubtful we will have anybody in for the weekend."

The Gills boss has also given an injury update on new signing Adam Birchall.

The forward was stretchered off after opening his account for his new club against Welling on Tuesday.

Hessenthaler said: "He's gone off home on crutches and the first impressions are that he's twisted the knee. Maybe there is some ligament damage but only time will tell.

"Lets hope it's not, because if there is ligament damage then I would say he is probably struggling for the start of the season. If it's only bruising or a strain then, fingers crossed, he will be ok. Well have to wait and see but he's in a bit of pain with it at the moment."

"He's devastated because he looked as bright as a button when he came on and he got his goal as well. That's his first goal for us and you could see the effect it had on his confidence."

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