||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (December 2015)|
Maynard warming up for West Ham United, February 2012
|Full name||Nicholas David Maynard|
|Date of birth||11 December 1986|
|Place of birth||Winsford, England|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Milton Keynes Dons|
|2006||→ Witton Albion (loan)||?||(?)|
|2012||West Ham United||14||(2)|
|2014||→ Wigan Athletic (loan)||16||(4)|
|2015–||Milton Keynes Dons||35||(6)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15:23, 2 July 2016.
Born in Winsford, Cheshire, Maynard spent a year as a schoolboy with Arsenal. He joined as a youth trainee at Crewe Alexandra's academy, famous for producing players such as David Platt, Neil Lennon, Danny Murphy, Rob Hulse and Dean Ashton, at the age of seven. Since then, he has represented Crewe at every age group level and scored 27 goals in one season at Under–18s level. As a reward for his form in the youth team, Maynard was offered his first professional contract of his career in the summer of 2005.
During the 2005–06 season, Maynard was loaned out to Witton Albion in January 2006. Maynard made a big impression at the non-league side, helping them to their most successful run of the season in the Northern Premier League. After returning to Crewe, Maynard continued to show fine form in the reserves side; by the end of the season, young Maynard made his Crewe début as a substitute for Michael Higdon in a 4–2 win over Millwall at the end of the 2005–06 season. He scored with his first touch in professional football, in front of Scouts representing 20 different clubs, after Michael O'Connor's shot hit the post. Eddie Johnson; Luke Varney and Steve Jones scored the other three goals for Crewe.
It seemed likely that Maynard would get his full début for Crewe during the 2006–07 season, with players such as Steve Jones leaving relegated Crewe for Championship side Burnley. However, some of Crewe's new signings, such as Ryan Lowe and the return of former player Rodney Jack, gave Maynard a bit of competition for a place in the first eleven. Maynard performed very well in his second year of professional football, forming a partnership with Varney where the two proved to be one of the most productive partnerships, in terms of goal scoring, in League One with a total of 33 league goals between them. During his first full season, the Englishman also picked up the "Player of the Month" award for September.
With Luke Varney gone after a £2m transfer to Charlton Athletic, Maynard was seen as the club's main goalscoring threat. His second full season at the club, however, was brought to a stand still for four months after he suffered a bone fracture of his fibula and also damaged his ankle ligaments during the club's season opener against Brighton and Hove Albion. In an interview with FourFourTwo magazine, Maynard admitted that he had "broke down a few times" during his four months of rehabilitation, although he would later recover and return to fitness and soon featured as a non-used substitute in an away match against Nottingham Forest before playing the second 45 minutes of the FA cup tie versus Oldham Athletic on December.
The striker struggled to score a goal during his initial months back in the first team, with only two goals scored in his first two months back from injury. It wasn't until the following months of February and March that the young striker got back into form and soon showed his potential by scoring in seven consecutive games including a hat-trick at senior level, his first for the club, against relegation rivals Cheltenham Town, "I've scored a couple of doubles before" he said in an interview in 2008, "so I thought it was a long time coming. I got all the lads to sign the match ball for me." Crewe managed to avoid relegation for the second time in three seasons at the expense of Bournemouth, despite losing 4–1 to Oldham on the last day of the season.
On 31 July 2008, Maynard signed a four-year contract with Bristol City for a fee of £2.25m, becoming their record signing. He played his first game for his new club on 1 August against Royal Antwerp at Ashton Gate Stadium, where he scored two goals in the first half before completing his hat-trick early in the second half. However, the first half of his season at City was difficult and despite scoring 3 games into his Bristol City career, against Derby County he failed to hold down a regular first team place, often appearing as a substitute. However, just before Christmas he started scoring with goals against the likes of Watford (twice) and Wolverhampton Wanderers to put Bristol City into a good run of form in which they went unbeaten in eight, before being beaten 1–0 by Doncaster Rovers.
Maynard made an explosive start to his second full campaign with City, scoring six times in his first seven games. He helped his side to three consecutive 1–0 victories, against Crystal Palace, Queens Park Rangers and away at Brentford in the Football League Cup. He also scored twice in a game to defeat Middlesbrough. Maynard's sixth goal of the season came on 12 September away at Coventry City, when he scored undoubtedly his best strike thus far for the club. After the ball was chested down by new signing and strike partner Álvaro Saborío, Maynard struck an unstoppable 25-yard half-volley in off the crossbar past Coventry keeper Keiren Westwood to cancel out Leon Best's opener and give his side a share of the spoils at the Ricoh Arena. However, Maynard eclipsed this goal on Boxing day against QPR at Loftus Road; facing away from goal just outside the box, he collected a bouncing ball in the air, with one kick to control it and another to turn two defenders, and then smashed a stunning volley into the top corner past an unmoved Radek Cerny, all without the ball hitting the floor. The goal was voted the 'Football League goal of 2009', out of five selected goals from 2009.
Following a pre-season knee injury, his first appearance in the 2010–11 season was as a substitute in the game against Leeds United on 12 February 2011. He went on to start the next three games, scoring in each of them as City went on a winning run to pull themselves away from the relegation zone. On 23 April 2011 Maynard received the first red card of his career in a 3–2 defeat at Sheffield United.
West Ham United
On 31 January 2012, Maynard signed for Football League Championship club West Ham United for an undisclosed fee on a two-and-a-half year deal with an option for an extra year. Maynard made his West Ham debut on 14 February 2012 in a 1–1 home draw with Southampton coming on as a 65th minute substitute for Carlton Cole. On 21 February 2012, in an away match against Blackpool Maynard netted his first goal for the Hammers in a 4–1 victory. Ricardo Vaz Tê and Gary O'Neil also scored their first professional goals for the club. He scored his second goal for West Ham on 6 April in a 4–0 away win against Barnsley. He also scored in the play-off semi-final second leg against Cardiff City on 7 May, giving West Ham a 3–0 lead at the time to add to their 2–0 lead from the first leg, putting them through to the final at Wembley. Maynard's final game for West Ham came on 28 August 2012 in the League Cup against Crewe Alexandra. He scored the first goal in a 2–0 win. He played seventeen games in all competitions, scoring four goals.
On 31 August 2012, Maynard signed a three-year contract with Cardiff City for an undisclosed transfer fee, reported to be £2.75m. His debut came on 2 September, against Wolverhampton Wanderers in a 3–1 win. Just two games later, Maynard was ruled out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Malky Mackay confirmed on 15 January 2013 that Maynard would not play for Cardiff again in the 2012–13 season.
Maynard completed a faster-than-expected recovery on 4 May 2013, coming on as a late substitution for the Bluebirds against Hull City on the final day of the regular Championship season. Maynard scored his first Cardiff City goal from the penalty spot amid a frantic finish which saw both sides involved promoted to the Premier League. The following season Maynard scored his second goal for the club in a 2–0 League Cup win at Accrington Stanley.
On 16 January 2014, Maynard joined Wigan Athletic on loan until the end of season. He scored his first goals for Wigan when he struck twice in a 3–0 win against Sheffield Wednesday on 11 February 2014. He left Cardiff City upon the expiry of his contract at the end of the 2014–15 season.
Milton Keynes Dons
On 12 May 2016, Maynard was released from Milton Keynes Dons after declining a new contract offered by the club. Maynard had scored 6 goals in 35 league appearances for the club, leaving as top scorer for the season.
On 2 July 2016, Maynard re-signed for the club on a new one-year deal. Upon re-signing, Maynard said "I’m pleased to be back. I enjoyed my time here last season and I got to know the players and staff well. I wanted to be somewhere where I felt wanted and having spoken to the gaffer quite a bit over the summer, he let me know how much he wanted me here."
- As of 8 August 2016
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|West Ham United||2011–12||Championship||14||2||0||0||0||0||2||1||16||3|
|Wigan Athletic (loan)||2013–14||Championship||16||4||1||0||0||0||1||0||18||4|
|Milton Keynes Dons||2015–16||Championship||35||6||2||1||1||0||—||38||7|
West Ham United
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- "Nicky Maynard". West Ham United F.C. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
- FourFourTwo, 167: "I've been playing for the academy since I was seven; I've been top scorer at every age group. I scored 27 goals in one season at U18 level."
- Crewe Alexandra profile, Paragraph 4.
- They're watching us.... Crewealex.PremiumTV.co.uk. Retrieved 9 August 2006
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- NICKY MAYNARD JOINS LATICS
- OFFICIAL: Wigan Sign Cardiff Striker Nicky Maynard on Loan
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