I’ve known Ryan Hayes a long time and he knows me and there’s mutual respect and he’s an absolute legend in football, let alone Dartford Football Club, says Sevenoaks Town boss Micky Collins

Tuesday 07th January 2020

SEVENOAKS TOWN manager Micky Collins has hailed the arrival of Dartford winger Ryan Hayes on a dual-registration deal.

The 33-year-old was expected to make his debut in tonight’s Isthmian League South East Division game at home to Haywards Heath Town and was named as a substitute.

Jack Miles scored an own-goal from 20-yards to give Shaun Saunders’ side a seventh-minute lead, before a power cut in the local area plunged Greatness Park into darkness with nine minutes and 39 seconds of play and referee Jack Fagg officially abandoned the game at 19:50.

“Massive signing! The nicest thing about it is that he wanted to get out and get some game time and he ok’d that and he wanted to come to us and he made that quite clear and then he approached me, we went out and had a chat about it, discussed it yesterday at length between the two of us,” said Collins.

“I’ve known him a long time and he knows me and there’s mutual respect and he’s an absolute legend in football, let alone Dartford Football Club.

“Anyone that’s stayed at a club that long, made over 650 appearances, that’s incredible in this day and age and not only that he’s a really, really nice bloke so to have a top, top fella with that experience and to be able to offer him game time here and get him back on track and then we’ll see where it goes, it’s brilliant and I feel privileged that he wanted to come to our club.”

When asked the length of Hayes’ stay at Greatness Park, Collins replied: “There’s no limit, it’s a dual-reg. It will be governed by himself and Dartford Football Club and they’ll look at it and see where we are. Whether he gets enough games and they’ll want to bring him back or whether he stays for longer, there’s no limit on it.

“He wasn’t on contract with them so the dual-reg stands. It’s local for him, he knows me and the club and he knows the facilities here are fantastic.”

Collins has pulled off a transfer coup by bringing the wing-wizard to the club – something that was impossible not so long ago.

“Listen, I couldn’t get players to come here from Step Six at the start (six years ago),” admitted Collins, who played for the Darts.

“It’s a different club now.  It’s a different mentality.  I look at this changing room now and the players’ that we’ve attracted because we’ve got it right, we’ve built a structure and we’ve put the facilities in place that guarantees you revenue and the rest of it falls into place.

“We haven’t stopped yet. It isn’t the end of the project. The next phase will be the clubhouse and then we take it to another level again and people are seeing that and top, top players are seeing that and thinking ‘I actually want to be a part of that’, and I’m very proud of that.”

Dartford manager Steve King has now been in charge of 15 games in all competitions and has seen his side win their last four league games and the Princes Park outfit have climbed up to seventh-place (the final play-off place) in the Vanarama National League South table with 37 points from 25 games.

Meanwhile, Dartford have confirmed that midfielder Ben Greenhalgh has left the club by mutual consent after 18 months at the club. He made 62 appearances for the club and scored seven goals and spent the last couple of months on loan at league rivals Tonbridge Angels.

Sevenoaks Town, who host seventh-placed Phoenix Sports on Saturday, sit in the top eight of the Isthmian League South East Division table with 27 points from 18 games, three points adrift of the play-offs.

Visit Sevenoaks Town’s website: www.sevenoakstownfc.co.uk