HARRIOTT HAPPY AS SKIPPER
United captain says boss was a big factor in return
MATTY Harriott is happy to be captaining Hayes & Yeading United this season as the club is playing the brand of football he favours.
The 22-year-old first joined Phil Babb’s side in November 2013 on a short-term loan before returning in February 2014 on another temporary move.
He ended the season at Conference Premier outfit Welling and appeared to have made the move permanent following his release by League Two’s Northampton Town.
However, the combative midfield ace knew exactly where he wanted to ply his trade this season when things did not work out at Welling.
He said: “Playing week in week out helps you gain a rhythm and allows you to enhance your game in different areas where you may not have been able to do before.
“I was a free agent after my release from Northampton and it allowed me to seek something else and have a little look around.
“It helps being at a club where you’re wanted and liked by everyone there and know the faces.
“I get on with all the lads. Phil, Tristan [Lewis] and Delroy [Preddie], when I came here last year, were all coaches I aspire to, playing the way I want to play.
“He [ Babb] has got tons of experience, having played at World Cup level – you can’t ask for much more. That was a big factor in me coming back. He helps with my game and gets everyone playing the right way and you’re learning something new from him on a weekly basis. He plays the way that I want to play.”
Following his successful first loan stint at United last year, Harriott was thrown into Northampton’s relegation battle in League Two and gained valuable first-team experience.
But a new Cobblers manager came in with new ideas and Harriott found himself out of favour and looking for a move into part-time football.
Dropping out of the Football League is not as big a step down as you might think though, according to the man himself.
He added: “The difference between semi-pro and full-time professional isn’t that much.
“The league is more physical and stronger than I actually thought it would be – the opposition we come up against sometimes is full of quality players.
“Even at Hayes I’m shocked with the quality really.”
Hayes & Yeading and Harriott enjoyed a weekend off due to their early FA Cup exit, but return to action this Saturday at home to high-flying Boreham Wood.
Fellow Conference South side Wealdstone won 4-1 in a friendly match with Met Police and will be in competitive action this weekend against leaders Basingstoke.
QUALITY: Matty Harriott is enjoying his football at Hayes & Yeading United this season