A YEAR in the past he was an out-of-work non-league supervisor who felt window cleansing was his finest probability of paying the payments.
Now he’s a league winner for one of many world’s richest males after buying and selling Barrow for Brunei in probably the most astonishing of life swaps.
Ady Pennock could also be an unknown to most English followers, but he’s a footballing legend 7,300 miles away after masterminding Asia’s equal of Leicester’s title triumph.
And all of it started with an out-of-the-blue name from the Sultan of Brunei’s son, which he almost dismissed as a wind-up.
On the time Pennock, by his personal admission a journeyman participant and boss over right here, had simply left Barrow after holding them within the Nationwide League.
He had no concept of his subsequent step, apart from recovering from a knee reconstruction to remedy a long-standing downside.
There’s each probability he might have gone again to cleansing home windows, the job he had finished when his enjoying days ended.
Then, from nowhere, got here that decision from somebody claiming to signify the Crown Prince of Brunei, Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Sultan’s son and proprietor of DPMM.
The membership, who play within the Singapore League, have been searching for a supervisor and Pennock was instructed by Zesh Rehman, who he had labored with at Gillingham and was enjoying over there.
As soon as he realised it was real, Pennock flew over for a go to and took the plunge, charged initially with little greater than attaining respectability.
It was a goal which swiftly modified to the title itself, as DPMM shocked everybody with a flying begin — and stayed up there.
The championship was clinched with two video games to go and now Pennock is a hero to Brunei’s royal household and 1000’s of followers.
HERO TO THOUSANDS
He admitted: “It’s been a fully unbelievable and unbelievable 12 months, from that first name off a bloke with damaged English, asking if I’d be excited by managing this group in Brunei. I did suppose it was somebody having fun.
“However when it was clear it was real I went for a go to and thought I’d give it a go. The expectation actually was mid-table however right here we are actually as champions.”
It was a marketing campaign in contrast to every other Pennock had recognized in a 30-year profession, which has taken in 9 golf equipment as participant and supervisor.
For a begin, each away recreation concerned a flight. Coaching periods needed to be stopped for prayers and, throughout Ramadan, gamers had hardly any time to eat earlier than kick-off.
That’s earlier than the day-to-day issues of dodging Komodo dragons and tribes of monkeys when he popped out for some groceries.
Pennock mentioned: “I’d not been right here lengthy once I went purchasing.
“On one aspect of the highway was the standard stuff, Starbucks and that. On the opposite have been about 50 monkeys and an enormous dragon.
“There are saltwater crocodiles too, so there’s no swimming within the sea and within the jungle you’ve bought snakes.
“Nevertheless it’s a genuinely beautiful nation and so pleasant. I’ve not heard a raised voice and positively no highway rage or something like that.”
DPMM’s win is much more outstanding given a number of the footballing hurdles Pennock needed to overcome.
He mentioned: “Because it’s predominantly a Muslim tradition there are occasions I’ve to halt coaching for prayers, whereas, as a result of we play in Singapore, it’s a flight to each away recreation.
“For the 2 matches throughout Ramadan, gamers couldn’t eat till about 50 minutes earlier than night kick-offs.”
For a group not even the Crown Prince — who attends each coaching session, not to mention recreation — anticipated to be champions, it has been a outstanding season.
It ended with them clinching the title when their two foremost rivals each slipped up, as DPMM’s gamers, royal proprietor and followers watched on an enormous display screen at their stadium.
Pennock mentioned: “Hougang and Tampines needed to win their final two matches and the Crown Prince organized it so we had the video games stay at our stadium.
“Ultimately they each drew and it was only a incredible feeling.
“It meant our final recreation — which we gained 5-Four — was an ideal day. We had 20,000 there and the trophy.
“There was a shake of a champagne bottle or two — really I believe it was fizzy pineapple since you’re not allowed to drink.
“Me and my teaching workers drove over the border to Malaysia and it’s protected to say we had one or two sherbets to have a good time.”
It was the least they deserved — and it might not be the final if Pennock takes up the supply of one other one-year deal.
The choice on that can come after he has talked it via with spouse Tania, together with his title now on the radar for jobs again in Blighty.
But one factor is for positive — he actually is not going to have to wash home windows for a residing any extra.