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Merstham bring in a former Premier League striker

Merstham have made a real statement of intent by bringing in former Premier League forward Barry Hayles to act as Frank Wilson’s assistant manager.

Hayles has played for the likes of Millwall, Leicester City and Bristol Rovers but is probably best remembered among football fans for his spell at Fulham, where he found the net 44 times in over 200 appearances.

During his time with the West London club, Hayles was part of the side which won promotion to the Premier League under French manager Jean Tigana in 2001 with 101 points.

Towards the end of his playing career Hayles played for a range of Non-League clubs including the likes of Truro City, Chesham United and Windsor.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Wilson said, “Firstly, from a personal point of view, bringing Barry in as a key part of the backroom staff is something I am really looking forward to. I first met Barry when I was training at the Jamie Lawrence Academy and Barry was a senior pro, training with the group every summer as part of Jamie Lawrence’s pre-season training camp.

“I think I was 18 when I first met and trained with Barry and I continued training every summer for the best part of a decade. I looked up to Barry and had the utmost respect for him as a professional footballer, and I admired his attitude to training and the way he interacted with me and the other lads who were part of those training camps.

“It was such a rewarding experience as a non-professional to be training with the likes of Barry and other professional players who, before they went back to their Premier League and other professional clubs, would be training with you every day and socialising etc. It is hands down the best football experience I have ever had as a player and Barry was a big contributor to that, and so to now be working with him in management is fantastic and significant.”

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