Jonny Hayes didn’t set the World on fire at Leicester City, playing a modest 7 league games while with the club from 2007 and 2009. He was a player picked up on a free from Reading and seen as an exciting prospect.
He never appeared in the Reading first team and had a couple of loan spells at Forest Green and MK Dons that was seen as success but not enough so he was released and joined Leicester City on a free.
During his days as a fox he was also loaned out to Northampton Town and Cheltenham Town adding a bit of experience to take his next step in football. A move north of the border became a salvation for the Irishman as he got the chance to flourish at the highest level.
The club he joined Inverness Caledonian Thistle were at the 2nd level in the Scottish league pyramid and with Heyes in the team they got a straight promotion to the SPL and the breakthrough was completed for Jonny, who also scored some stunning goals in the first year in the top flight, one of them against Rangers.
A move to Aberdeen in 2012 was a new step up for Heyes and he became a key player at Pittodrie for five years playing 165 league games and scoring 23 goals. He also experienced the thrill of playing in Europe and winning the Scottish League Cup in 2014.
He had really made his steps up in football and in the summer of 2017 Celtic payed a fee of £1million to sign Hayes. He had at this time already made his full international debut for Ireland and to date been involved in four games.
Hayes is set to leave Celtic in the summer after three years with the club playing 41 league games and scoring 2 goals, winning the leauge in all his seasons, the FA Cup twice and the League Cup once. Hayes is now 32 years of age and might decide to play on in Scotland, but it’s said that a number of Championship clubs in England also could be interested.
Lovely to see players who had great potential, but didn’t fulfill their talent at Leicester City, getting a chance elsewhere and really flying on as they made a life in top flight football.