Miles Welch-Hayes passed up opportunity with Burton Albion to sign for Harrogate Town

Simon Weaver has revealed that Miles Welch-Hayes passed up the opportunity to earn himself a contract at Burton Albion in order to sign for Harrogate Town.

By Rhys Howell
Friday, 1st July 2022, 8:32 am
Updated Friday, 1st July 2022, 8:35 am
Miles Welch-Hayes became Harrogate Town's eighth new signing of the summer when he joined the club on Tuesday. Picture: Harrogate Town AFC
Miles Welch-Hayes became Harrogate Town's eighth new signing of the summer when he joined the club on Tuesday. Picture: Harrogate Town AFC

The 25-year-old was out in Portugal on trial with the League One Brewers when he received a call informing him of the Sulphurites’ interest in him.

And the former Colchester United defender immediately headed back to England to meet Weaver before putting pen to paper on a two-year deal at Wetherby Road.

“Miles has been out in Portugal training with Burton," the Town boss told the Harrogate Advertiser.

Miles Welch-Hayes in action for previous club Colchester United. Picture: Getty Images

"Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink wanted him to play a game on Saturday so he could have a proper look at him.

“We’ve tracked Miles for a while and it was a conversation with Jaheim Headley’s agent, who also represents Miles, that prompted us to have another really close look at his footage again this week,”

“We got in touch and told him we wanted to talk to him about a contract so he left there to fly straight over to meet us. It’s pleasing because it shows he obviously really wanted to come here.

“We’re very happy that we’ve got our man. I’m confident that Miles will do really well here.”

Welch-Hayes started his career in League One with Oxford United before dropping down to National League South with Bath City.

He played for Macclesfield Town in League Two between 2018 and 2020 and has spent the previous two-and-a-half seasons at Colchester, where he made a half-century of appearances, the majority of which came during the 2021/22 campaign.

Speaking about his previous employer’s decision not to offer him a new contract, Welch-Hayes told the Colchester Gazette: “I expected the news, because the new gaffer that came in hasn’t played me.

“I’ve not played that much this season which is frustrating but I suppose it’s part of football.

“I just feel like I didn’t really get given a chance, even when we were losing a lot of games on the bounce, or picking up good results and conceding a lot.

“I didn’t really understand it because if we’re conceding and losing, then you’ve got to mix it up a bit. I didn’t get told why I wasn’t playing and it’s quite frustrating being in that position but that’s football for you.

“We got on well and there was no bad blood or anything like that.”

Welch-Hayes featured just 12 times in League Two last term, with five of those appearances coming from the substitutes’ bench.

But he went on to confirm that it was not fitness problems that restricted his game-time.

“I got a few injuries that held me back a couple of months at the start of the season but then I was fit,” he added.

“Since the gaffer was in, I was basically fully fit most of the time.

“There’s two other right-backs and if he didn’t see me here next season, he’s obviously thinking that he’s not going to play me.

“It’s frustrating being at a club and not playing. It’s probably the best thing for me as well, as there’s no point me being there if I’m not going to play.

“I just want to be somewhere where I’m back playing.”