Toast Will Hayes - welcome to the AFL

Bemoreboyddog

Norm Smith Medallist
Nov 4, 2014
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Love that we've promoted another guy off the Footscray list after the success of Gowers this year. I remember there wasn't a great deal of optimism on here for Billy over the preseason, hopefully that's not seen again for Hayes.

Small piece of trivia - he's the son of Melbourne Cup winning horse trainer David Hayes, grandson of Colin.
Drinking game - drink every time you hear about his Dad.
 

Tommycash

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Sep 1, 2012
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So a post where I basically called myself a fool for not rating Macrae and a (obviously poor) joke about Hayes looking like Honeychurch has got this reaction.

I knew there was a reason I don't really post anymore.
I hope it isn't getting you down too much, I think people are just weirdly protective over players they know very little about.

Seemed obvious to me that your post wasn't being negative, more a tongue in cheek response. Ah well, seems like it has gone over a few heads.

I for one would be saddened if you dropped off posting because some people only want cheer leading.
 

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immortalmike

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Feb 11, 2008
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I hope it isn't getting you down too much, I think people are just weirdly protective over players they know very little about.

Seemed obvious to me that your post wasn't being negative, more a tongue in cheek response. Ah well, seems like it has gone over a few heads.

I for one would be saddened if you dropped off posting because some people only want cheer leading.
Thanks Tommy. Your post really cheered me up.
I'm not sure when I became public enemy number one around here but I'm glad someone appreciates my contribution.
 

Mr. Walker

Premiership Player
Apr 15, 2002
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Thanks Tommy. Your post really cheered me up.
I'm not sure when I became public enemy number one around here but I'm glad someone appreciates my contribution.
Hi IM. You are not public enemy number one. I think you will find the majority, as in silent majority, are also sick of the nastiness that creeps in here sometimes. I have no problems with people having a different opinion to myself, in fact i expect it, I just don't see why they feel the need to throw in a couple of uncomplimentary adjectives. Personally I blame Donald Trump.
 

CaptainMurphy

Premiership Player
Jun 4, 2015
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Thanks Tommy. Your post really cheered me up.
I'm not sure when I became public enemy number one around here but I'm glad someone appreciates my contribution.
Keep posting mate, I think often stuff gets taken the wrong way on here (and all internet forums). It's easy to read things not as they were intended. I'm guilty of it too. Don't let it get you down.
 

Bont2Bruce

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Mar 15, 2012
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Will Hayes carving out a career with the Western Bulldogs, despite his horse racing roots
https://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/afl/teams/western-bulldogs/will-hayes-carving-out-a-career-with-the-western-bulldogs-despite-his-horse-racing-roots/news-story/56a367f68ae3c74f068ffe156da86112

Will Hayes looked up at his bedroom ceiling and contemplated retirement.
It was November 23 last year and Hayes mistakenly thought had been overlooked in a sixth consecutive national draft.

There was a three-hour wait until the rookie draft and the clever midfielder wanted to spend them with his eyes closed.

“There’s no better way to take your mind off things then to go punch out a few Zs,” Hayes said.

“If I didn’t get picked up because it was probably going to be retirement and going into the horse racing industry. Then I came to the living room and everything changed.”

Will Hayes contemplated retirement — until he was snapped up by the Bulldogs. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images

Will Hayes contemplated retirement — until he was snapped up by the Bulldogs. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images


Western Bulldogs used the final pick in the national draft on the 181cm player, putting Hayes’ destiny as a horse trainer on hold.

“I couldn’t imagine my life without horses,” Hayes said.

“That’s (horse training) where my future is heading for sure. I’ve been very lucky that my parents have allowed me to pursue football and I managed to get drafted.

“As soon as I’m done with football I’ll be heading to racing straight away.”

Hayes felt like a nervous parent on Melbourne Cup day, given race favourite Constantinople was trained by his father, Hall of Fame trainer David Hayes.

The kid who spent his childhood building tree houses on a Hong Kong racecourse – where the family lived – so he could watch the races said attention to detail was the secret to success as a trainer.

“Essentially you’re training athletes that can’t speak back to you,” Hayes said.

“So the feedback you get is through their behaviours and their actions.

“A lot of the physios at Bulldogs probably wish that us players couldn’t talk and complain, but with the horses we’ve got to figure it out ourselves.”

Will’s father is hall of fame trainer David Hayes, pictured with his Melbourne Cup runner Constantinople. Picture: Aaron Francis/The Australian

Will’s father is hall of fame trainer David Hayes, pictured with his Melbourne Cup runner Constantinople. Picture: Aaron Francis/The Australian


Hayes, 24, learnt Mandarin growing up and now has an advanced diploma of languages in Chinese.

“I wouldn’t go as far as saying I’m fluent, but I could get you a hamburger anywhere in China,” he said.

“If I was lucky enough to train myself there at one point in my life I’d count myself as lucky because it’s the No.1 racing circuit in the world.”

Some players spend their off-seasons getting home at 4.30am. But for Hayes – who returned from a holiday in Europe in time for the Cox Plate – that was when his alarm went off so he could get to trackwork.

The Euro trip was a rare luxury, given in previous years Hayes has dived straight into work at the stables after VFL seasons.

There’s no shortage of horse whisperers in the Dogs’ locker room.

Teammate Tory Dickson – who “has got quite a good eye for the form” – made it along to trackwork some mornings while Lachie Hunter hit the jackpot with stakes in Merchant Navy and Super Seth.

Will Hayes has hit the pre-season track on a mission. Picture: Michael Klein

Will Hayes has hit the pre-season track on a mission. Picture: Michael Klein


It was only when the Hayes family returned to Melbourne that footy entered his life.

“I’d just turned 11 and me and (twin brother) JD signed up to the Glen Iris Gladiators to try and make a few friends,” he said.

Fortunately, Hayes proved to be a stayer. After 76 VFL games he finally got his AFL chance and now he’s working on his wing craft with Ed Richards and Hunter.

At pre-season training last week he tipped the scales at 81kg and he can’t wait to play his 10th AFL game in 2020.

“I’m up three kilos, my Dexa scan (bone strength measurement) was good and I’m running pretty well,” Hayes said.

“I’m pretty happy with the nick that I came back in and more importantly the coaches are happy, too.”
 

theBigB

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Nov 5, 2019
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Not too many Bulldogs supporters are keen to see him playing AFL next year, but I believe in him. I think he added another dimension to the midfield late in the year with his outside run, even if his ball use isn't the most polished yet. I'd much rather keep him in the side than say, replace him with another inside mid. As a bonus, he worked his arse off to get a chance at AFL, so you know he'll give 110% every game.
 

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Mattdougie

Brownlow Medallist
Jun 29, 2013
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So a post where I basically called myself a fool for not rating Macrae and a (obviously poor) joke about Hayes looking like Honeychurch has got this reaction.

I knew there was a reason I don't really post anymore.
Like everything in life the screaming minority, who think they are the moral compass, are sanitising this joint into a party line lemming fest where anything other than absolute positivity is acceptable

keep fighting the good fight mate you add more than most in here
 
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Virgin Dog

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Oct 29, 2017
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Not too many Bulldogs supporters are keen to see him playing AFL next year, but I believe in him. I think he added another dimension to the midfield late in the year with his outside run, even if his ball use isn't the most polished yet. I'd much rather keep him in the side than say, replace him with another inside mid. As a bonus, he worked his arse off to get a chance at AFL, so you know he'll give 110% every game.
He frustrates the shit out of me with his disposal at times, but I think some of us have been way too hard on him and somehow expected him to be of Hunter's quality straight off the bat. In reality, he showed huge promise for a guy with <10 games, and there looks to be plenty to work with. Most guys are given a couple of years in the system before being expected to carry any serious workload, but Hayes looks like he has the work ethic and attitude required to make it. Fix up that disposal a bit and he could be a very good player
 

VitalDread

The Unofficial Face of Bigfooty Bulldogs-NGA & VFL
Oct 9, 2011
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If Hayes can develop into a endurance/gut running machine
he will have a future with us as a link up player
 

mattwa

Club Legend
Jun 10, 2007
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Think hes great depth for us and if develops his skills will be a good player on the wing. He has a serious motor and does a lot of defensive running which is what Bevo demands out of his wingman
 

stefoid

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 8, 2002
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Outside players need to be prolific and/or damaging with the ball, otherwise what is the point? Has he shown those abilities at VFL level?
 

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