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29 October 2014

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Steven Taylor

The Steven Taylor interview

Steven Taylor Newcastle's hottest young starlet tells Junior Football how he got started ...  

So were you always interested in football as a kid?

Yeah, since I was nine I have been at this club. Football is my life. Even at school, it was always football, football, football.

How did you get started in the game?

I actually started out at Whitley Bay when I was 8 years old, but I couldn't get a game, so I had to move on. I ended up at Cramlington Juniors, and then at Wallsend Boys.

I think it was my first training session at Cramlington, and there was a Newcastle United scout there.

It was unbelievable to get the chance to play for my home town club, and after one particular training session with John Carver, he decided to sign me up.

It was incredible. There were a lot of players signed up at the time, but from my age group, there is only me left now.

Were you always a defender, or has your position changed over the years? How did you or your coaches discover your best position?

I was a centre-forward when I first came to the club. I played there until I was 12. Then one day, there was a game where we were short of defenders, and the manager at the time, Vince Hutton, decided to put me at centre-half, where I've stayed.

I found the transition from forward to defender pretty comfortable. It can help you, if you used to be a centre-forward, because you know the kind of runs that centre-forward's make, so you know where to position yourself when you become a defender.

Did you get a lot of encouragement from your friends and family?

Steven Taylor
Taylor lines up for England u21s

Yeah, they've always been supportive. My mam and dad are fantastic. My dad comes to every game I play, and has even come to a few games abroad.

I couldn't say anything better about them. They've been great.

How often do you train a week? Are you on a special diet?

We train most days and you do try and keep your diet sensible, but I do have the odd takeaway.

I eat a lot of pasta, and things like that. You've got to be sensible if you want to keep performing.

How do you keep yourself motivated? Does training ever become a bit of a drag?

I enjoy it. Every time I go in in the morning, there's always someone cracking a few jokes. It's a good laugh.

Then you get out there on the pitch, and it's business as usual. And when you're training with top quality players such as Alan Shearer, there's all the motivation you need.

Do the training matches ever get competitive?

You do get a few tackles flying in, but it's all part of the competition, and everyone has a laugh about it later. It's good to see the players competing.

What would you have done if you were not a footballer? Were you good at school?

I'd probably be a dustbin man. I could never work in an office. I need to be outdoors. You see that man in the morning, collecting your bins? That will be me!

I stuck in at school, though I wasn't the best at it. And I missed a lot of school by going away to play various football games.

Who was your favourite player in football? Why?

My idol was the ex-Arsenal defender, Tony Adams. He always has been. I've got videos and DVDs with him on.

I went on loan to Wycombe Wanderers a little while back, and he was the manager for them. He just gave me so much confidence, and I respect him so much. I learned an awful lot from him.

What was it like going on loan? Did the experience help you?

It was a great challenge for me. I knew when I was going there that they were bottom, but I played six games for them, and we won three, drew one, and lost two.

Steven Taylor
Taylor: Uncompromising in the tackle

We got up to third bottom at one stage.

It was a great challenge for me. I knew it was a long ball game, and it's a physical league, but it definitely helped my development.

I played for Newcastle's reserves, and we played some part-time footballers, who do knock you about. It toughened me up. That's what you need.

How do you relax away from football?

I like going bowling, going to the pictures, eating out with my mates, playing pool. Usual kind of thing.

I also watch a lot of DVDS, and I love my soaps, especially Eastenders and Coronation Street.

What advice do you have for the younger kids looking to get into the game?

Just give it your best shot. You've got one chance. Don't mess it up by going out and drinking. Be confident in your own ability.

Do you get advice at the club about drugs and women?

I think people know you should expect that anyway. There are a few players who like to go out, but there are also a few of us who like to stay in and relax.

There's plenty of time to go out in the summer, when the season is over.

You're going to be an ex-footballer for much longer than you're a player, so you can do what you like, once your career is over.

And finally, what was it like when you made you Newcastle debut?

Playing in front of 52,000 Geordies just says it all for me. I came out to the tune of Local Hero, and that just got me buzzing straight away.

I put in an early tackle, and the fans started singing my name. I just could not believe it.

I had 14 games on the trot, which was way beyond my expectations. The older players gave me a lot of encouragement, and talked to me a lot on the pitch.

It was what I needed. And the fans as well, have been absolutely magnificent.

last updated: 19/04/06
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