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Defender Hayles says he has always been an Urchin as he returns for a fourth spell

PUBLISHED: 15:00 03 July 2019

Rickie Hayles celebrates with Hornchurch teammates after winning the Ryman League play-off final against Lowestoft in 2012 (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Rickie Hayles celebrates with Hornchurch teammates after winning the Ryman League play-off final against Lowestoft in 2012 (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

New Hornchurch signed Rickie Hayles admits he has always though of himself as an Urchin as he returns for his fourth spell at the club.

Rickie Hayles celebrates in front of the Hornchurch fans after his winner at Kingstonian (pic: Simon Roe/TGSPHOTO)Rickie Hayles celebrates in front of the Hornchurch fans after his winner at Kingstonian (pic: Simon Roe/TGSPHOTO)

The experienced defender joins the club from East Thurrock United after the Rocks were relegated from the National League South last term.

And the former Billericay Town insists the move also suits his other commitments to step back down a level to Isthmian Premier Division.

"I'm very excited, I've always considered myself as an Urchin where ever I play," Hayles said.

"I have a lot of commitments this year so step three was the best option for my family and I.

"Hornchurch is one of the three clubs that are close to my heart and to be back with them pushing for promotion this year it was a no brainer."

Hayles originally joined Hornchurch in January 2010 and made an immediate impression in defence - making his debut in a 1-0 win at home to Margate on February, 13.

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The defender then joined Thurrock in the summer of 2011 but returned to the Urchins by September.

The following season Hayles played a prominent role in the club's push for promotion and ended up playing a leading role when they beat Lowestoft Town in the play-off final to gain promotion into the Conference South.

He then opted to leave the club and join Canvey Island before returning in March 2013.

Hayles then scored four goals in 53 appearances during the 2013/14 season with his last match for the club being the play-off final defeat at Lowestoft in May 2014.

The defender was however voted both Players' Player and Supporters Player of the Year and Hayles revealed he always wanted to return to the club - despite spending time at the likes of Lowestoft Town, Bishop's Stortford, Dulwich Hamlet, Billericay Town and East Thurrock United after leaving.

"I always planned to make a return home to Hornchurch and hoped that would be under Jimmy Mac but unfortunately that isn't to be.

"Mark is a great manager though who has made some great signings so far and hopefully there is one or two more to come.

"The team looks strong and I'm looking forward to kicking off the season and hopefully get another promotion under my belt."

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