FORMER Newport County AFC striker Paul Hayes is set to join Bostik League North side AFC Sudbury.

The veteran striker, who turns 35 next month, was released by County in the summer having scored four goals in 13 appearances in the second half of last season.

Hayes, who has previously played for Wycombe Wanderers, Scunthorpe United, Barnsley and six other clubs, was set to join Dagenham & Redbridge but the move fell through.

And the Suffolk Free Press reports that the former Exiles man is set to put pen to paper on a two-year deal at AFC Sudbury this morning.

Sudbury boss Mark Morsley explained how the move came about.

He told the Suffolk Free Press: “When you have been around as long as I have and have got as many friends in the game as I have, you end up doing each other favours, as it is like a members’ club between us managers, as we know how tough it is.

“A great friend, Steve Pitt at Chelmsford, had given me the heads up Paul was unattached and a deal with Dagenham & Redbridge had not come to fruition.

“Steve Foley (Needham Market Reserves manager) knows him well as he coached him at Norwich as a youngster.

“Steve is a great friend of mine, so I had an insight into him and it went from there.

“I sold him the ambition of the club; the chance to move us forward by working with youngsters as a figurehead striker.

“I said from day one I was looking to add someone who can make us better, and in terms of names they do not come much bigger than someone like Paul Hayes.”

Hayes is set to train with the Sudbury squad for the first time tonight but may not get his wish to be involved on Saturday away at Tilbury as his spell in Newport means the club have to seek international clearance during the madness of a transfer window closing before he can make his debut.