I had quite a lot of offers but chose Hollands & Blair, says striker Rob Denness

Monday 05th June 2017

HOLLANDS & BLAIR have pulled off a coup after enticing Rob Denness back to the club after leaving last August to sign for Greenwich Borough.


The 28-year-old striker left and helped Gary Alexander’s side finish in third-place in the Ryman League Division One South table in the club’s debut campaign at that level.

Rob Denness (red) has left Greenwich Borough to
return to Hollands & Blair.
Photo: Greenwich Borough FC

Gillingham-based Denness has explained the reasons behind re-signing for his home-town club.

“Greenwich was a great season for me, really enough it,” said Denness, who scored 18 goals for Greenwich Borough last season.

“It was a tough decision to go in the first place leaving Blair because we won our first FA Cup game against Horsham and I left shortly after that game to join Greenwich with Gary Alexander and John Mackie.

“Those two were a big part why I went there, with their experience and what I was going to learn from that playing in the Ryman again, knowing that the team were going to challenge for the league.

“I thought I needed a new challenge.  It was a fantastic year. I learnt a lot from Gary.  The whole set up and the organisation of the club was unbelievable and for me to experience that, was great.”

Denness sat down with Alexander and told him that he couldn’t commit to next season through his work commitments as a school teacher.

“I had to reflect on my work and my commitments and I sat down with Gary and we’ve got on well always. I’ve always been honest with him and he’s always been honest with me,” he said.

“I’ve got a lot of things going on at school at the moment and I might not be able to give 100% in the Isthmian League because as you know it’s Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday right up until January.

“I just didn’t know I could commit 100% and I had that chat and said I needed to play local again and that’s how I left it.

“I left Greenwich Borough a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been thinking what I was going to do next.

“Believe it or not, I had quite a lot of offers this year, quite a lot from SCEFL clubs and a couple from Isthmian clubs. I’m not going to name all the teams but I had a lot of offers from many teams.  Some of them were really good offers in terms of money.   There sounds to be quite a bit of money going around in the SCEFL.”

Denness explained why he choose to re-sign for Hollands & Blair.

"I enjoyed quite a lot of success there. I was there for three years. 

“I wasn’t enjoying my football and I went there. I think I was at Ashford for a bit and I went back to Chatham. I lost a bit of love for the game.

“I went there, we had a lot of success every season and with that I enjoyed my football.

“I’ve got a lot of friends at the club, the players are quality, good quality players.  I played with James McDonald and he scored a few goals over the years and I scored a few goals and assists.

“The changing room and the banter is top, top class so all those factors and being a local club to me…”

Denness is a dying breed.  A non-league footballer who plays for his home town club and plays a major part in his local community, as a school teacher.

“Hollands & Blair’s youth set-up is fantastic. I’ve got a lot of players at school who I teach who are playing at the club. We’ve had players come through the reserves, the under 18s won the league this year and I’ve got a couple of lads who played in that side.  They’ve had first team appearances and it’s a bit strange when there’s some of the school kids in there who are in sixth form playing.

“That for me is what it’s all about.  Kids’ developing, getting their opportunities, enjoying your football and that’s where I enjoyed my football.

“I’ve got a lot of friends, I know a lot of people there and for me where I am at the moment with my job I want to enjoy my football and hopefully help the youngsters come through and in the future possibly get into coaching and management.”

Meanwhile, former Hollands & Blair under 18 manager Aaron Braithwaite has been appointed as the new manager of Andreas Carter Joma Kent County League Division One side Halls Athletic.

Visit Hollands & Blair’s website: www.hollandsandblair.co.uk