Assitant manager Nicky Southall upset to be leaving club he supports.

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Gillingham assistant manager Nicky Southall is preparing himself for an emotional exit from the club.

Manager Andy Hessenthaler met with chairman Paul Scally yesterday afternoon where it was decided to cancel his contract by mutual consent, after which Southall was told he would also be let go.

The 40-year-old said the news was upsetting for him and his family having been connected with the club throughout his career, making more than 300 appearances in three different spells before joining the coaching staff in 2010 with Hessenthaler.

“You get attached to the club, 300 odd games, I have have had relegations, promotions, I have always been drawn back to the club,” he said.

“I have been here for pretty much all my footballing life.

“It was very upsetting in my house last night, but you have got to go out and face the music, there’s no point being down about it.

“I will be spending a bit of time with the family, and my children, they are upset.”

He said he may return to the club in some coaching capacity in the future depending on what budget was available. Hessenthaler has also been offered the chance to stay on as a board member overseeing certain footballing elements of the club.

He added: “We really appreciate the fans for their backing and support, the away fans that have been travelling up and down the country.

“We love them, and I am a fan and obviously love the club too.

“It’s the end of an era or whatever you want to call it, it’s the start of a new chapter for me.”

To read more on the announcement made yesterday click on the links to the right hand side of the page.

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