Max Haygarth programme article

Posted : 21st January 2023

‘Look at Linfield’ this week catches up with January signing Max Haygarth, the former Manchester United and Brentford winger. Haygarth was with the Manchester United Academy from the age of nine, up until 2021 when he made his loan to Brentford a permanent move.

However, he left ‘The Bees’ last summer and despite trials at the likes of Luton Town, Birmingham City and Sheffield Wednesday, he has since remained without a Club and he explains why he thinks a move to Windsor Park can get his career going again.

“That was tough, I’ve missed a lot of football since last summer, until I arrived here. To be honest, my head wasn’t quite in the right place for playing my best football. This is why I’ve signed for Linfield; to get my football back on track and to get my head right. I just want to be back on the pitch and enjoy playing football again, and I’m really excited at the thought of it, after getting off the mark last week. I’ve moved into accommodation with one of my teammates and that’s been great in helping me get settled.

“Manchester United is a very good Club and I was very lucky to have played most of my years in football there, albeit in Academy football. However, this is different now, because this is First Team football and it’s a step-up in that sense. There’s a lot more on the line and I’ve loved the experience so far, so long may it continue.

“I came over and had a chat with the manager when I explained what had happened in my career to date and he explained how he thought he and Linfield could help me kick-start my career. He played a big part in my decision to come here.”

Whilst Max has signed a contract until the end of the season, he says he’ll remain open minded and if things work out for him and the Club, he would not rule out a longer stay at Windsor Park.

“Yes, the short term deal is almost like a blank canvas in the sense that we can see how things work out and then evaluate things at the end of the season. If I can perform well, then potentially Linfield might want to offer me something and I could maybe stay longer. If not, then we’ll see where my next chapter is. But that’s for further down the line and the key now is for me to be performing well and most importantly, Linfield winning matches. Right now, I’m delighted to be here and to be part of such a great group of lads and such a good Club.”

Things certainly got off to a great start for the Mancunian as he had a dream debut last week, scoring within two minutes of coming on as a substitute in Linfield’s emphatic 6-1 win over Glenavon at Mourneview Park. Max bent the ball into the corner of the net with class, and he’s hoping it’s the first of many as he aims to earn a starting spot in the team.

“I was delighted to get my first goal. As it turned out, I scored with my very first touch, so that was the perfect way to start my Linfield career. I’m really excited to properly get going, now that I’m in and around the squad and eligible to play. The aim for me is to earn the right to feature more and if I can do that, hopefully, it’ll be the first of many goals for me.

“I’ve got to take my opportunity when I get it and that means being clinical. I have watched a few games in the time before I was eligible to play and at times we were needing a bit of creativity, so I hope I can bring that and then we’ll see where we’re at, at the end of the season.

“I usually play on the right wing, so I tend to cut in on my left foot, but then again I will also go down the right hand side and cross, too. Cutting inside and whipping the ball into the far corner has been a strength in my game, like I showed last week. I like to get at players and take them on. I’m trying to brand myself as a ‘Number 10’ as well, and have become increasingly more suited to playing centrally, but it just depends wherever the gaffer wants to play me. Wherever that is, I want to add a cutting edge.”

Max – who celebrates his 21st Birthday today – is hoping for a home debut and three points to celebrate too, as we look ahead to this afternoon’s clash with Ballymena United.

“The facilities here are excellent. Windsor is a huge stadium and I was really impressed when I first viewed it. I’m looking forward to seeing our fans and it would be great to make a home debut. The gaffer will have us well briefed on Ballymena United and we’ll be desperate to keep the pressure on the League leaders. “I was well aware before I signed that this can be a physical League and I’m fine with that. I’m looking forward to the challenge and I’m a tough boy, so if I take a few kicks along the way, then I can handle that.”

Everyone associated with Linfield wishes Max a Happy 21st Birthday today and will also wish him every success for his time ahead at the Club
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Queen's University
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