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Why I signed for Latics

20 May 2013

Dayton on his transfer to Boundary Park


James Dayton has been explaining why he rejected the offer of a new three-year contract at Scottish Premier League club Kilmarnock in favour of joining Latics.

The 24-year-old midfield man says he has been bowled over by Latics’ manager Lee Johnson who was a former team mate at Kilmarnock until early this year.

Dayton (pictured) said: "Having worked with Lee, I know what he is about. He is ambitious and wants to take the club forward.

"Lee wants to take Latics up the league and I was impressed by his vision for the club."

Dayton says he leaves Kilmarnock with great memories, none more so than helping them beat Celtic to win the Scottish League Cup in 2012.

"We also recorded a 2-0 victory against Celtic at Parkhead which was a great achievement when you bear in mind they beat Barcelona on the ground in the Champions League," he said.

Londoner Dayton was at Crystal Palace between the ages of 10 and 20 years.

He had loan spells at Yeovil, where Russell Slade handed him his debut in the Carling Cup at Middlesbrough, and Crawley Town.

After being released by Palace, Dayton had a spell out of the game and ended up moving to Spain to join the Glenn Hoddle Academy which serves to help out-of-work footballers find new clubs.

He said: "It was a horrible situation, but it definitely made me stronger and appreciate what I have.

"It makes you hungrier and to prove people wrong.

"It was a great experience to work in Spain with the likes of Glenn, Nigel Spackman, Dave Beasant and Graham Rix."

Kilmarnock gave Dayton the chance to revive his career and in the last three seasons he has made 49 starts and 25 substitute appearances, scoring seven goals.

And though Dayton is not a prolific scorer, the ones he gets are goals to remember.

The spectacular goal against Dundee United last season was voted SPL goal of the season for 2011/12.

He said: "I don’t seem to do ordinary goals and have been lucky to score some special ones.

"But in the scheme of things I would prefer to score six ordinary goals to one brilliant one."

Dayton’s current campaign was ended prematurely in April when he broke four ribs and punctured a lung after colliding with an opponent in a league match at Ross County.

Keep logging on to the official website for Johnson's views on his latest capture.


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