Sep 16 2011 By Chris Slavin
Jamie Hand 200px
DEPARTED skipper Jamie Hand has backed Hayes and Yeading to survive relegation without him after he quit the club to join Luton Town on loan.
The 27-year-old Uxbridge-born midfielder (pictured) is unlikely to be back at Hayes and Yeading as the Hatters wanted to sign him permanently, but they had to get Hand on a three-month loan deal instead because he had already signed a season-long contract.
That means Hayes and Yeading could get a fee if Luton decide to take up the option to sign the ex-Watford, Lincoln City and Woking man.
Hand revealed that Hayes and Yeading made no effort to stand in his way - and even encouraged him to make the switch to full-time Luton.
"It was a fantastic opportunity for me when it came up - I was desperate to do it," he said. "Hayes pushed me into it because it is a great club for me to go to.
"I was surprised when I got the phone call that they had come in for me, but it was a nice surprise. I was not looking to leave or go anywhere else, but it just happened that Luton requested my services.
"I was fortunate enough to play every week at Hayes and Yeading and I was delighted to be made skipper - that put me in the shop window. I think I have given everything I could for Hayes. But playing at Luton brings a totally different pressure. Playing in front of thousands and trying to get promotion is something that I will thrive on."
Hand was thrust straight in by Luton boss Gary Brabin on Saturday and he helped his new team-mates to a 2-0 win over Darlington, though that came with the downside of picking up his fifth booking of the season to rule him out of last night's (Tuesday) trip to AFC Telford.
Hand added that he believes Hayes and Yeading can survive the drop, but he is not contemplating returning to the club when his loan expires.
"I am not thinking about that as my priority is playing well here," he added. "I can say that I have left on good terms with the manager (Nas Bashir) and Tony O'Driscoll (director of football). They have a great bunch of lads and a good manager so I think they have enough to stay up."
Ex-Gillingham man Mark Bentley stepped in as skipper for Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Grimsby Town that plunged Hayes and Yeading down to 19th in the table.
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