Jimmy McFarlane: Ex-Hornchurch forward Stefan Payne will be a success in Championship with Barnsley
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO
Urchins boss hails ability of forward who will be playing in the Championship next season
Jimmy McFarlane has backed former Hornchurch forward Stefan Payne to enjoy success in the Championship.
The 24-year-old recently signed a two-year deal with Barnsley, who secured promotion in the League One play-off finals on May 29.
Payne spent a season with Urchins during the 2013/14 campaign and was a massive hit at Bridge Avenue.
He scored over 30 goals before moving to Dover Athletic of the National League where his performances over the past two years have earned him a lucrative switch to the Tykes.
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“Stefan’s move is brilliant. Anyone that knows me and I spoke to the Recorder about it, I always knew Stefan was better than where we was and better than the Conference,” said McFarlane.
“He gets goals and I think he has half a chance in the Championship because he has blistering pace and he can finish. It’s brilliant and a great move.”
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When Payne joined Hornchurch in the summer of 2013, he had endured a frustrating couple of seasons.
The forward struggled for opportunities at Macclesfield Town after leaving Sutton United in January 2013 before receiving two red cards while with Ebbsfleet United.
After moving to Bridge Avenue, the striker settled immediately and McFarlane feels playing professionally again will benefit Payne.
He believes the ex-Gillingham youngster will take his second opportunity in the Football League.
“When Stefan first came to me he was a bit disillusioned with football. I just said come here because I know you will enjoy it,” said McFarlane.
“I think his spell with us gave him his appetite back and then he got his move to Dover and like I said, he was always going to move on just because of his quality.
“Now he has an unbelievable move and with the fitness of full time training, he has got all the tools and I think he will be successful at Barnsley.”
After leaving Hornchurch, Payne improved at Dover and scored 40 times for the National League outfit.
His goalscoring exploits caught the eye of Barnsley and you wouldn’t bet against him now making a name for himself in the Football League.