Charlton Athletic
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Striker Hayes joins up

Posted on: Tue 21 Jun 2011

Gary Haines and Tom Harvey report

Charlton have snapped up striker Paul Hayes from Preston North End, the club confirmed on Tuesday afternoon.

The forward has penned a three-year deal with the Addicks and will join the club on July 1st.

He bolsters the club's frontline ahead of the 2011/12 promotion push, and is the club's second signing of a busy day after the arrival of highly-rated young defender Cedric Evina on a free transfer.

"I'm really happy to get Paul on board; it's a real coup for us," said manager Chris Powell.

"I think he will add to the strikers we have already got and it was great to see how much he wanted to come to the club."

Dagenham-born Hayes was signed by then-Preston manager Darren Ferguson on a free transfer from Scunthorpe United in May 2010.

The 27-year-old scored his first goals for PNE with a brace in a 5-0 thrashing of Stockport County in the League Cup, and also netted against Portsmouth and Doncaster Rovers in the Championship either side of a loan spell at Barnsley.

After returning to Deepdale, he couldn't help prevent Preston's relegation from the Championship and will now be looking to spearhead Charlton's promotion bid over the coming season.

Paul Hayes in action for Preston against Norwich City last season


Powell added: "Paul did very well for Scunthorpe and has played in teams that have been promoted from League One.

"He has always struck up good relationships with strikers like Gary Hooper and Martin Paterson, and he will come here and supplement the goal threat we already have in people like Bradley Wright-Phillips and Paul Benson.

"I really think Paul will be a good signing for us. He's a clever player who will keep the opposition guessing as he will drop deep and join in.

"He scores goals himself so we will be looking to get the right supply to him and the other frontmen. That's one thing we will be looking for this season, to create chances and I want my strikers to finish them.

"Just like Cedric Evina, he comes with a decent pedigree and lots of experience which will help a lot of the other players we have in the squad.

"I want him to strike up a rapport with Paul and Brad and we look forward to working with him when the players report back."

The younger brother of former Arsenal man Martin, Hayes began his career as a trainee at Norwich City, but failed to make a first-team appearance for the Canaries and was snapped up by Scunthorpe in December 2002. He went on to score 27 goals in 68 league games, helping the Iron to promotion from League Two in 2005.

That form saw him move to Barnsley the following summer, where he hit 13 goals in two seasons and also spent time on loan at Huddersfield Town.
Paul Hayes in loan action for Barnsley last season

During his spell at Oakwell, Hayes scored the opener in the 2006 League One play-off final, before notching from the spot in the triumphant penalty shoot-out against Swansea City.

The hitman returned to Scunthorpe in June 2007 for a fee of £400,000, but his first season back with the Iron ended in disappointment as they were relegated to League One.

However, he managed to score 20 goals and set up a further 11 in the 2008/09 campaign as Scunthorpe made an immediate return to the Championship.

And his excellent partnership with Hooper helped Scunthorpe to Championship safety in the 2009/10 season as he contributed an impressive 13 goals and many more assists.

Hayes netted four times in 26 outings for Preston last season, and becomes Charlton's fifth signing of the summer following deals for Danny Hollands, Bradley Pritchard John Sullivan and Evina, while a deal has been agreed for young goalkeeper Nick Pope.

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