Jack Payne’s spell with Huddersfield Town was definitely a case of what might have been for the attacking midfielder.
Having joined following his release from Southend in 2016, Payne was heavily involved under David Wagner during his first season, even if he was restricted to just 10 Championship starts.
His standout moment came on his third appearance when he scored a sensational late winner against Newcastle as the Terriers ended their 63-year wait for a victory at St James’ Park.
However, despite featuring also 30 times, including against Sheffield Wednesday in the play-off semi-finals, the former Shrimpers man was left out of the squad for the Wembley final against Reading as Terriers were promoted to the Premier League for the first time in their history.
Disappointingly from Payne’s perspective, that outing at Hillsborough turned out to be his last in a Huddersfield shirt, although his exit wasn’t confirmed until two years later after loan spells with Oxford, Blackburn and then Bradford.
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But how has Payne been doing since his departure from the John Smith’s Stadium?
Less than two months after leaving Huddersfield, Payne signed for Lincoln, who had the highly-rated Danny Cowley in charge.
However, just ten matches into what had been a bright start to his career at Cincil Park, Cowley was snapped by Huddersfield, with Lincoln appointing Michael Appleton as his replacement.
Despite signing a two-year contract, Cowley’s departure was essentially the beginning of the end to his Lincoln career – with Appleton’s arrival restricting Payne to just 20 further appearances.
Last summer, Payne was on the move once again, deciding to remain in the third-tier and sign for newly-promoted Swindon Town.
But lightning struck twice for the midfielder after manager Richie Wellens was sacked less than two months later, although he’s continued to be a regular at the County Ground, scoring twice in 29 matches for the Robins, who’re currently fighting to avoid an instant return to League Two.
Whilst it’s been a relatively difficult few seasons for the 26-year-old, he recently made 250th career appearance, and is well onto his way to a successful career in the EFL, which has already included three promotions.