SOUTHERN LEAGUE: Road to recovery for Taylor
CHRIS Taylor hopes to complete his road to recovery at the club where he enjoyed one of his most successful spells in football.
The 26-year-old returned to Supermarine on Friday last week with a view to getting back to full fitness after an horrific injury sustained in August last year.
Playing for Maidenhead against Farnborough in Conference South, the midfielder dislocated his knee and tore his cruciate and lateral ligaments following a challenge by Ashley Winn, and the Swindon-based player required two operations in the aftermath.
After the best part of a year out of action, Taylor signed for Marine's Division One South & West rivals Cirencester and started for the Centurions in three games before moving to the Webb's Wood Stadium, making his debut in the 2-1 win over Cinderford on Saturday.
Taylor, who was one of the stars of Marine’s record-breaking run to the second round proper of the FA Cup in 2010/11, has spoken of the frustration he experienced during the lay-off.
“It was the worst time of my life,” said Taylor, who has taken legal action over the challenge.
“When I got the news I was distraught, but you sort of get used to it and then when you get to the end it's even harder because you are so close.
“There was a lot of hard work involved - physio every day and also rehab at Lilleshall - and I have to thank Kate Cady at Back2Fitness because she really helped me.
“It was a massive relief to get through the first few games, because you never know what it's going to be like.
“It was nice to come back to some familiar faces at Supermarine, it’s more convenient for me to play here. I know everyone at the club and financially it was a bit better as well.
“I just want to get as many games as I can, because I’ve hardly played in 13 months.”
In the longer term, Taylor admits he is keen on a return to a higher level of football with Maidenhead, but says he must be fully fit before that can happen.
“I spoke to Maidenhead the other day and they want me back, it's just a case of getting back to where I was,” he said.
“I’m only at about 70 per cent at the moment and it's about of taking one game at a time.
“I just need to get that sharpness back and I’d like to get 15 games in at Marine.”
South Marston boss Dave Webb was delighted to bring Taylor in, even if it does ultimately turn out to be a short-term arrangement.
“Chris has been out for 13 months but you can see the quality he's got,” said Webb.
“He’s a good footballer and to bring someone in of that quality is good for us.”
Elsewhere, Chippenham assistant boss Richard Fey looks set to take his place between the sticks for the Bluebirds’ fourth qualifying round tie at Conference North Gloucester City tomorrow, as regular stopper Ben John is cup-tied.
Cirencester host Taunton in Division One South & West looking to continue their play-off push.