Wingate and Finchley search for new boss after Norman quits

Wingate & Finchley manager David Norman resigned on Monday prior to the club’s FA Trophy defeat against Hitchin, and chairman Aron Sharpe admits “his achievements shall most probably not be replicated”.

Norman led the club to promotion from Ryman League Division One North through the play-offs in 2011 – part of a treble which included the Ryman League Cup and London Senior Cup.

His departure comes on the back of a torrid October in which the club won only once in eight games – including Monday night’s 3-0 defeat at Hitchin in their FA Trophy replay – but Sharpe insists his departure was not based on results.

“It’s a move that is a realisation of the fact that we’re a voluntary organisation and there is a lot more commitment beyond the club,” he said. “It’s all been very amicable and a scenario which we knew could happen due to outside commitments – be it work or family.”

Norman oversaw one of the most successful periods in the club’s history and Sharpe is fully aware of the considerable hole his departure leaves.

“Dave was a fantastic appointment and that shall forever be etched in the history of the club. His achievements shall most probably not be replicated,” he said.

“With Dave at the helm, we won more under his leadership in three years than most clubs do in a lifetime.”

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Assistant manager Steve Clarke has also left, leaving the club without an obvious leader ahead of Saturday’s game at Kingstonian, but the chairman is in no rush to appoint a new man.

“To replace Dave is not an easy task, however the job has started and as always I intend to see the club progress and intend to maintain its ethos,” said Sharpe.

“We have a template for developing youth in the area and supporting local players who might not be afforded the chance to play at this level.

“We also have a local Jewish community to support and we’re looking for someone who is willing to buy into that idea.

“There’s an infrastructure at the club and we have a number of qualified coaches, so it’s possible to promote from within, but I wouldn’t want to force the position on anyone.”