Haverfordwest County AFC are delighted to confirm the appointment of Nicky Hayen as the club’s new First Team Manager and Technical Director.
The Belgian, who is a UEFA Pro Licence holder, arrives at The Ogi Bridge Meadow on an 18-month contract, with a clause for an additional 12 months – subject to a work permit.
His coaching career to date has seen him take in spells at a variety of clubs, with his most recent role coming with Waasland-Beveren in the Belgian Pro League, which he left at the end of the 2020-21 season.
Prior to this, Hayen had a three-year spell with former club Sint-Truiden, where he initially began work as the Under-18 Manager, before taking over as Caretaker Manager and latterly Assistant Manager of the Belgian Pro League side.
The 41-year-old, who made over 300 senior appearances in a 15-year playing career, began his coaching journey in 2013 when he took the role of Player/Coach at former club Dender in the then Belgian Third Division (now Belgian Division 3).
Hayen’s distinguished career on the pitch, which began in 1999, saw him compete at the highest level of Belgian football with Sint-Truiden, his place of birth, for nine years.
After departing his boyhood club in 2008, he went on to represent RBC Roosendaal, Oud-Heverlee Leuven and Antwerp on loan, before hanging up his boots at Dender.
“I’m very delighted, it was actually an easy choice [to join the club],” said Hayen. “The first conservation with the chairman was a really good one, we were just on the same page, the ambition and the things he wants to realise for the club fit with my ambition and the things I want, so I think it was a match from the first day.
“I hope we can succeed in the coming months and in the future.”
Commenting on Hayen’s appointment, chairman Rob Edwards said: “Nicky may feel like a left field appointment, but he stood out all the way through the process, and his values and philosophies resonate with me personally, and with what I want from Haverfordwest County on and off the pitch.
“He has played a huge amount of games and managed at the highest level within Belgium, and ticks every box of our criteria when we started this recruitment process.
“I am delighted to have somebody of his calibre on board, and I am really looking forward to working with him.”
Nicky will be unable to officially start his role until visa paperwork is complete, so Sean Pemberton and Jazz Richards, who have overseen the previous two matches against Bala Town and Connah’s Quay Nomads, will remain in charge for the upcoming double header with Aberystwyth Town in the JD Cymru Premier.