Dale Jenkins continues his recap of the summer arrivals at Adams Park.
The second new signing of the summer was another recognisable name as young central defender Aaron Pierre joined on a three-year contract after turning down a new deal at Brentford.
The 21 year old came through the ranks at Griffin Park, working his way through the Development Squad before making his first team debut in a 5-0 League Cup defeat against Derby at Pride Park.
Pierre joined Cambridge United on loan in late 2013 but found his opportunities limited and he returned to Brentford after just one appearance. His next loan spell however was to be the making of the player as he played a huge part in Wycombe’s great escape from relegation.
Gary Doherty’s serious arm injury suffered in a 1-0 win over Chesterfield at Adams Park paved the way for manager Gareth Ainsworth to move for the young defender and it proved to be a crucial move. Pierre remained an unused substitute until making his first start in a 1-0 defeat at Burton Albion on 25th March 2014.
It was Pierre’s second start for the Chairboys at Scunthorpe where he began to make a serious impression, as he was thrown in at the deep end alongside fellow new signing Danny Rowe following an injury to Anthony Stewart. The pair snuffed out a strike quartet including Dave Syers, Gary McSheffrey, Sam Winnall and a certain Paul Hayes as Wanderers earned a crucial point at Glanford Park in their quest to avoid the drop. Two days later, Pierre extended his loan spell until the end of the 2013/14 season.
The composure and confidence that the youngster continued to exude was beginning to seriously impress and a man of the match performance accompanied an important 2-0 win over Dagenham and Redbridge.
Despite a 2-0 defeat at Newport County a week later, Pierre had by now established himself as one of the first names on the teamsheet as a powerful, reliable and assured centre-half.
The final four fixtures of the season were to determine the Chairboys’ Football League fate. The first of these saw a Matt Ingram own-goal gift fellow strugglers Northampton Town a lead in front of over 7,000 on Good Friday at Adams Park. Pierre earned the hosts a priceless point with his first senior goal just six minutes later, an emphatic header across goal and into the top corner from a Matt Bloomfield set piece.
It looked like a relegation battle that Wycombe might lose after defeats to Fleetwood Town and Bristol Rovers meant they had to win at Torquay United on the final day and hope for favours elsewhere. Pierre showed his versatility on the day and slotted in at left back to allow Sam Wood to move forward to left midfield. The left wing partnership worked a treat and was a critical component in an emphatic 3-0 win at Plainmoor.
This, coupled with Bristol Rovers’ 1-0 defeat at home to Mansfield Town, secured the Blues’ Football League Status for another season, and Pierre made his move permanent on 16th May to the delight of everyone at Adams Park.