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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Barry Hayles, Ian Holloway & QPR - Strange, ostensible Assertion

Plymouth Barry Hayles

Plymouth Argyle striker Barry Hayles has made a great start to the new Championship season.

The 34-year old front man has weighed in with three goals from five Championship games to help his new club to seventh position in the league.

Hayles was signed by Argyle manager Ian Holloway just before the season started, paying League One side Millwall £100,000 and Holloway's judgement has been proved sound with Hayles currently rated the best striker in the Championship, according to Actim Stats.

Holloway first gave Hayles his big break into league football back in 1997 when, as manager of Bristol Rovers, he signed Hayles from non-league Stevenage Borough for £250,000.

Hayles was a relative late comer to professional football at the age of 25 but was eager to make up for lost time scoring 34 goals in 66 league games for the Pirates.

Hayles form in front of goal did not go un-noticed and Fulham beat several clubs to secure the signature of Hayles for a £2m transfer fee.

Hayles goal scoring form continued for his new club, helping Fulham to two promotions and securing a place in the Premiership.

Hayles played for three seasons in the Premiership, including notching up some Uefa cup games and eight caps for national side Jamaica.

Hayles then spent two months at Championship side Sheffield United following a free transfer before being transferred to Millwall for £25,000. Hayles stayed at Millwall for two seasons but could not stop the London side from being relegated from the Championship last season.

Holloway then came calling once again and Hayles looks to have revived his career at Plymouth.

Holloway also tried to sign Hayles whilst he was manager at Queens Park Rangers but the QPR chairman, Gianni Paladini, blocked that move. The controversial Paladini recently admitted he left his phone switched off for two days to prevent Holloway from talking to him about signing Hayles. Paladini felt that Hayles was too old and wanted Holloway to sign the more younger striker Dexter Blackstock at Southampton. Paladini said: 'By the time Barry Hayles career is over, Blackstock will be in his prime.'Hayles is enjoying his time at Plymouth but admits it was a big decision to move to the south-west, he said: 'I did have a good long hard think about it, but the manager was not taking no for an answer.

'The chance to work with Ollie again was something I was looking forward to. He seems to get the best out of me, allowing me the freedom to express myself.

'Personally things have been going well at Plymouth and we have been playing well as a team. So I think I made the right choice in moving here.'

Hayles was also brought to Plymouth by Holloway to help out the young strikers at Home Park, in particular Sylvan Ebanks-Blake who signed from Manchester United for an initial £200,000 transfer fee. Hayles added: 'Myself and Sylvan have been staying in a hotel and we have built up a rapport. He hasn`t scored yet for the first team but if he relaxes it will come because there is no doubt the ability is there.'

If Hayles can maintain his goal scoring form throughout the season and other players chip in with some goals then Plymouth Argyle will be in for a successful season.

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