Ex-Arsenal winger Jermaine Pennant is happy with his decision to join Non-League side Billericay Town.
The former Arsenal winger surprised many when, at 34, he opted to join Non-League Billericay Town. The signing was made as part of Billericay’s ambitious plan to be in the Football League within the next five years, a plan that’s come under fire by rival clubs who believe they’re paying their way up the leagues.
Amid talk of going there for an easy pay packet, Pennant is adamant he’ll give everything for the team. “I want to do really well for the team – but there’s pressure because I played at such a high level so everyone expects me to score a couple of goals every game and be amazing,” he said in an interview with the Guardian.
“But it feels like a normal dressing room. I’ve known Jamie, Paul and Kevin Foley for years so that gelling was automatic. Same with the other lads. It doesn’t matter who is full-time or who has jobs. I think some of them work on building sites but on the pitch we’re a team. If you’re lazy they’ll give you a bollocking. I wouldn’t expect any less. We’re all equal.
“I have no regrets coming here. I’m 34, not 24. Not many players play at the highest level all their life. So this is just another avenue of my football life. I’ve had so many ups and downs but this is a new path.”
Jamie O’Hara and Paul Konchesky were household Premier League names at one point. O’Hara was with Wolves and Portsmouth, while Konchesky played for West Ham, Fulham and Liverpool. It was around that time that Pennant was still a Premier League player with Stoke City.
Many years later, they’re all down in Essex playing for Billericay Town. It certainly wasn’t the expected trajectory of those players. After a troubled career and life, however, everything seems fine between Pennant and his family now.
“My family are just happy I’m playing football in this country. And everything is great with my dad now. Everything between us is how it should be between a father and a son. He’s in great nick and a labourer now after he turned his life around in Nottingham,”
Pennant and Arsenal may not have the best relationship anymore, but it’s nice to hear that he’s doing well.