There were 31 seconds of the transfer window remaining when the final confirmation of Jason McCarthy’s permanent transfer was submitted to the EFL, sealing the defender’s return to Adams Park after two years away.
The defender ended his loan spell from Southampton with a Supporters’ Player of the Year prize and after spells with Walsall and Barnsley, McCarthy says he can’t wait to be back playing in front of those same fans who elected him to win that coveted prize in 2016.
“It’s unbelievable – I can’t really describe it at the moment,” he said in his first interview before the ink on his three-year contract had dried. “I’m so buzzing to be back, linking up with the gaffer again, a lot of the boys are still here from my first time, and I can’t wait to see the Wycombe faithful either,” he smiled.
“It was a really enjoyable time for me here. Wycombe is a club I hold so close to my heart because it was my first real opportunity in football. I had great memories of that season (2015/16) and I feel the gaffer got the best out of me. We had a good team then and an even better one now, and the club are getting a better player back as well,” he added.
Eight of the current squad remain from McCarthy’s first period at Adams Park while he’s also good friends with Dominic Gape – a former team-mate from their time at Southampton together, and the scorer of the goal that clinched promotion last season.
“I kept in touch with the boys from the day I left – I lived with Rocky (Ryan Allsop) in the house when I was here, and there’s Blooms, JJ, Bean, Anthony, Paris, Sido and Harriman all still here so it’ll be great linking up with them again. Also Gapey is a hero in these parts now and it’s great to see my old mate being a fans favourite.”
The 22-year-old achieved similar popularity during a year at League 1 Walsall, playing every minute and scooping the Fans’ Player of the Year, and started impressively in the Championship with Barnsley before a change of manager saw him frozen out.
He returns to Yorkshire this weekend with his new (and old) team-mates as the Wanderers take on Doncaster on Saturday – and Jason says he’s excited at the prospect.
“It was an unbelievable feeling to win Player of the Year from the fans here and I did it again at Walsall before getting a permanent move to Barnsley. I started well but then I couldn’t get back in the team for one reason or another and I was banging my head against a wall.
“But now I’m back here and I couldn’t be happier. It’s a big game on Saturday and I’m looking forward to it. I haven’t played in quite a while but the fact that I’ll be wearing the blue quarters when the times comes will make it even more special.”