ANDY Roddie says he will leave Huntly with his pride intact after he and co-manager Tommy Wilson parted company with the club this week.
The Christie Park bombshell came on Tuesday when Huntly announced that Roddie and Wilson had rejected a new contract offer and would be leaving their positions.
The pair had brought major progress to the Black and Golds, steering the club from the bottom six in the past six seasons to their current position of fifth in the Highland League.
Roddie pointed to the fact that Saturday's 2-1 win at Turriff took Huntly to 35 points just over halfway through their league campaign, a tally which equals their best for an entire season since 2013.
However, he said recent discussions about renewing his and Wilson's contract stalled, and they would now be going their separate ways.
"It's happened over the last few weeks when we've had conversations over what the club were wanting to do and what we were wanting to do," he said. "These things happen in football. They decided that our services were no longer required, so we've just got to get on with it.
"We go away with our heads held high. We've built a good squad of players and created a good team spirit throughout the whole club.
"We've brought a winning mentality and I think it's plain for everybody to see how much things have improved.
"We've picked up more points than the club has managed to get in the past five seasons, and we're only halfway through.
"But this is just part and parcel of football. It's not the first time it's happened and it won't be the last time. We're just thankful to the club for giving us this opportunity.
"I'm sure it won't be too long before something else comes up."
In a club statement, Huntly said they were putting Roddie and Wilson on "gardening leave" for the remainder of their contracts, and will appoint interim managers to allow time to find suitable replacements.
"The manager's contracts were due for renewal on the 21st December and the club put forward its best offer to attempt to persuade Andy and Tommy to continue at the club.
"Regrettably they have declined those offers, which of course they are perfectly entitled to do, and so they will not be continuing in their posts.
"The club wishes to place on record its grateful thanks to Andy and Tommy for their efforts over the last year and to wish them every success for the future."
Roddie and Wilson have taken the Highland League by surprise this season by steering Huntly to dizzying heights.
Wins over big spenders Brora Rangers and Formartine United, a league double against Turriff and a 5-1 crushing of neighbours Keith are among 11 victories achieved so far in the campaign.
At the time of going to press, Huntly had yet to name who would take charge of the team for their next fixture.
Wednesday's Aberdeenshire Shield game at home to Formartine was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, and with wintry conditions arriving later in the week, Christie Park looks doubtful to host this weekend's home league clash with Lossiemouth.