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Dartford FC winger Ryan Hayes says he was frozen out at Concord Rangers

By Steve Tervet

Ryan Hayes has lifted the lid on his unhappy spell at Concord Rangers after leaving the Essex club to rejoin Dartford.

The winger ended his 13-year stay with the Darts in May, following Tony Burman’s resignation, to team up with new Concord boss Sammy Moore.

But Hayes, having signed a two-year contract, quickly found himself out of the team, out of favour and desperate to get out of the club.

Ryan Hayes on the ball during his first spell at Dartford Picture: Andy Jones
Ryan Hayes on the ball during his first spell at Dartford Picture: Andy Jones

“I got frozen out at Concord,” he said. “The manager took a massive dislike to me and said I was never going to play for the club again.

“I played the first six games but he was always on at me. I don’t know what it was. It might have been a personal thing.

“I got on brilliantly with all the boys and the chairman was good as gold but me and the manager just didn’t get on for some reason.

“I had to train on my own. It was horrible. I had to go over there on my own on a Saturday. They’d just run me for an hour but I wouldn’t give in.

“In the first six games, we won four and drew two. I scored one and set up a couple so I don’t know what he was expecting.”

Welling and East Thurrock both showed interest in signing Hayes but neither deal came to fruition so he contacted joint-manager Adam Flanagan at Dartford.

He said: “I still speak to Flan once or twice a week and he was gobsmacked by what happened. I asked to come back but he said there were no funds available.

“I stuck with Concord for a couple of weeks, training on my own. I had to sit in the stands and watch the games but me and Flan were still speaking.

A warm welcome awaits Ryan Hayes back at Dartford Picture: Andy Payton
A warm welcome awaits Ryan Hayes back at Dartford Picture: Andy Payton

“I said ‘can you just do something?’ and he said he would. It’s nowhere near the deal I was on at Concord but I’m back at Dartford and I’m happy again.”

But even with his move agreed, things didn’t go to plan for Hayes.

He was due to make his second Dartford debut away to Chippenham on October 13 but the paperwork wasn’t completed in time.

Hayes said: “On Friday night my boss rang me and said ‘I know you’ve not got football so can you come to work for a couple of hours?’

“I went to work and ended up breaking two bones in my hand falling through a hole. It was just sod’s law.

“I was lying in a hospital bed and I was like ‘I ain’t got a club, I’ve not signed with Dartford yet and they might not want me after this’.

“But I went to training, signed and watched the game on Saturday.

“I’ve known Coylie and Flan for ages and the boys really like the managers so hopefully I can prove they were right to bring me back.”

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