The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Paddy von Behr

PAUL Hayes has moved up and down the coun­try in his 13-year ca­reer, but he has never seen a club quite like Wy­combe Wan­der­ers.

Af­ter just one full sea­son with the Chair­boys and fac­ing a lengthy spell on the side­lines last month, Hayes was the sub­ject of some im­pres­sive fan in­ter­ven­tion.

The Wy­combe Sup­port­ers’ Trust stepped in to speed up the 32-year-old’s re­cov­ery from an Achilles prob­lem with the pur­chase of a state-of-theart shock­wave ther­apy unit.


Hayes was back in ac­tion ahead of sched­ule and, last week­end, popped up in stop­page time to equalise against Carlisle and put a stop to his side’s four-match los­ing run.

And the Wy­combe skip­per be­lieves he would still be stuck on the treat­ment ta­ble if not for the gen­eros­ity of the club’s sup­port­ers.

“It is touch­ing and it is fan­tas­tic for me that the trust, the board, the chair­man and the man­age­ment are will­ing to do that for me,” said the former Scun­thorpe striker. “Hope­fully I can re­pay them on the pitch.

“It makes you ap­pre­ci­ate what’s around you. I have only been at the club for 18 months but it feels more like four or five years.As soon as I ar­rived, ev­ery­one made me feel wel­come and im­por­tant.

“We have got a great club and the trust have put money into the club to buy this ma­chine. I’m ever so grate­ful and if it wasn’t for them I prob­a­bly wouldn’t be back now.

“It’s come from the fans and it just shows the to­geth­er­ness of this small club.”

Man­ager Gareth Ainsworth la­belled his cap­tain “above this level” af­ter the clash but Hayes re­served his praise for Cian O’Do­herty, af­ter head­ing straight for the Wy­combe physio to cel­e­brate the goal.


“It was a spur of the mo­ment thing,” he said. “I spent a lot of time with the physio in the last eight weeks and it was just the fact that he has put a lot of time and ef­fort into me – days off and com­ing in early. He doesn’t get paid ex­tra for that.

“He went that ex­tra mile and it was ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the fact that if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have been out there.

“When the man­ager has kind words to say about you, you ap­pre­ci­ate that but foot­ball is one game at a time. If you have a cou­ple of bad games, peo­ple will say you have lost it again.”

That con­sis­tency is some­thing Hayes achieved in his first sea­son at Adams Park, net­ting 15 goals in all com­pe­ti­tions, as the Chair­boys fin­ished fourth be­fore their ag­o­nis­ing play-off fi­nal de­feat against Southend United on penal­ties.

“What we did last sea­son was an ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic achieve­ment and you could say we punched above our weight,” he added. “Our bud­get is one of the low­est in the league.

“As a player the gaffer wore his heart on his sleeve and that’s his phi­los­o­phy for us.We don’t feel sorry for our­selves, we go out to achieve things.”

PIC­TURE: Wy­combe Wan­der­ers FC

CAP­TAIN MAR­VEL: Paul Hayes lobs the ball goal­wards, left, to net Wy­combe’s last-gasp equaliser against Carlisle last week, right SHOCK THER­APY: Paul Hayes gets ready for more treat­ment

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