Hendon have announced another two departures in addition to that of fans favourite Gary McCann. Reserve team manager Alan Rolnick is taking an undetermined leave of absence, whilst forward Ross Pickett has been given a free transfer.
Mr Rolnick joined Hendon as coach of the Under-13s team in 1995-96, the first year of Hendon's youth set-up. He took his team up in each of his first 2 seasons, before winning the Harrow Youth League title as well as a couple of cup competitions. Mr Rolnick progressed to running the midweek youth side, using many of the players he had brought to the club in the previous 4 years.
When Mr Rolnick replaced Cecil Collins as reserve team manager in March 2000, he was not afraid to put youngsters into the second string. From a near hopeless position, he was able to get the team clear of the relegation zone and consolidated the position last season and through most of this, culminating in an appearance in the Middlesex Premier Cup Final at the end of last season.
His reasons for stepping aside are not football related, as he explained. "I have had to take a step back because I cannot devote the necessary time and energy to running the reserve team, until this (personal) issue is resolved. It may be a few weeks, it may be longer. I have not been able to do any of the normal preparatory work necessary even at reserve team level and I probably won't even miss it until preseason training starts."
"Alan will be sorely missed," said club secretary Graham Etchell. "He will always be welcome back and we wish him well at this time."
Another person leaving the club is striker/midfielder Ross Pickett. He joined Hendon from Walton & Hersham in the summer of 2000 and scored 12 goals from 37 appearances in his first season. Last season was different matter. Playing a variety of roles, Ross made only 14 starts before going back to Walton for 3 months on loan.
"I spoke to Ross," said manager Dave Anderson. "He did quite well at the start of the year but things didn't quite work out. Sometimes it is no one's fault, these things just happen. But what I must do - and the football club is a moving ship - and things move on and we had to move on without Ross. Again he left on good terms and I am sure he will be secretly looking at Hendon's results because he really loved his time with us."
Meanwhile, Anderson has also spoken about the departure of goalkeeper Gary McCann, who has decided to join Ryman League Premier Division new boys Aylesbury United. "I had a long discussion with Gary," he said, "and I made it plain that David Hook was my No. 1.
"Gary has never let Hendon down in his 5 or 6 years with the club. He said that if he did not get an offer that was suitable he would be happy to stay as our number 2, but somebody is always going to want people like Gary and Steve Cordery at Aylesbury showed interest. Gary went and spoke to Steve and told me that he had agreed terms with Aylesbury.
"I wish him very well. Not only has he been my goalkeeper since I joined Hendon, but he has been a personal friend for a long, long time, since we were together at Harrow. We have not fallen out which is nice and he loves Hendon, but at Gary's stage of his career he needs to play first team football which I couldn't guarantee him at Hendon."
In his time at Hendon, Gary, who signed from Dulwich Hamlet, played 186 times and was a key member of the team which beat Leyton Orient in November 1997 and 3 runs to the FA Cup 1st round proper.