Terry Taylor: Midfielder eyes success with Wolves and Wales

Terry Taylor
Terry Taylor left Aberdeen for Wolves in 2017 having joined the Dons as an eight-year-old

Terry Taylor can recite every word of the Welsh national anthem in his broad Scottish accent.

"Would you like me to sing it now?" asks the teenager from Aberdeen who wants to play for Wales.

Taylor was just 17 when he joined Ryan Giggs' squad for a training camp in the Algarve in May.

Now 18, and with a first appearance for Wolverhampton Wanderers under his belt, the midfielder has his sights set on a regular place in the senior Wales set-up.

"That's the aim of course," Taylor tells BBC Sport Wales.

"I have got to try to do well in every training session and every game. Hopefully I can impress enough to get another chance."

Taylor was born and raised in Aberdeen, but qualifies for Wales through his mother Morag, who hails from Cardiff and spent time in Merthyr Tydfil as a child before moving to Scotland.

"My mum is Welsh and all of her family are Welsh. I am close to all of them," says Taylor, who is part of the Wales Under-21s squad for their Euro 2021 qualifier against Bosnia-Herzegovina in Wrexham on Tuesday.

"I played for Wales from under-15s. There was a point in time, when I was 15 or 16, that I played for both Wales and Scotland.

"I actually played against Scotland in Scotland in the Victory Shield which was an experience in itself. A lot of my good friends were in the Scottish team.

"I have now decided to play for Wales. There is Welsh in me and I feel that and I am happy to be here. I am proud to represent Wales."

There has never been any pressure from Taylor's family over his international allegiance.

"I think my mum would be proud of me whatever I did," he adds.

"I have gone with Wales because that's where I feel most comfortable. The Welsh FA have shown faith in me and I am proud to be here."

Terry Taylor
Terry Taylor came on in the 71st minute of Wolves' Carabao Cup tie at Aston Villa on 30 October

Taylor was one of seven uncapped players summoned for summer training with Wales.

"The manager phoned me. He said, 'It's Ryan Giggs here'. I was just about speechless," Taylor says.

"He was one of my biggest idols when I was growing up.

"It was a nice feeling and it was good to go and meet up with the squad. To train with the lads with the quality they have in the group - it was amazing."

Another landmark moment in Taylor's young career came last month, when he made his debut for Wolves in a 2-1 Carabao Cup defeat at Aston Villa.

Signed by the Molineux club from Aberdeen in 2017, Taylor had toured with Nuno Espirito Santo's squad in pre-season and was one of a number of youngsters given a chance at Villa.

"It was a difficult game to come into - it was a derby and it was a packed stadium," Taylor says.

"But it was a great feeling and it was a good experience I can learn from.

"The manager is brilliant. I feel like he has helped me personally as a player and all the other young lads as well. He is not afraid to tell you what you need to improve on.

"It's nice to see that he has got faith in me and other young players. Hopefully we can repay that."

Terry Taylor
Terry Taylor is set to win his first Wales Under-21 cap when Paul Bodin's team face Bosnia-Herzegovina in Wrexham on Tuesday

Taylor is breaking through into Nuno's squad at an exciting time for Wolves, who finished seventh in the top flight last season and are in this term's Europa League.

"It's a club on the rise and I think we can keep going that way," he adds.

"When I joined Wolves two-and-a-half years ago we were in the Championship, but there was always a clear goal from the new owners when they came in - they wanted to take the club back to where it has been in the past."

For Taylor, all eyes are on what looks like a promising future.

A versatile midfield player who is known for his range of passing, he is likely to make his first appearance for Wales at under-21 level as they look to claim a second victory in this qualifying campaign.

Taylor will then refocus on Wolves, and on trying to build on that maiden senior appearance.

"I have to keep working hard and keep progressing," he says.

Wolves midfielder Terry Taylor
Terry Taylor has played three times for Wolves Under-21s in the EFL Trophy this season

There is one area, though, where no further graft is required.

"I learned the Welsh national anthem when I was with the under-15s," Taylor says with a smile.

"Cledwyn Ashford, the FAW education officer, drilled it into us. I went home and practised it and learned it off by heart.

"It's a good anthem. I love it."

And somewhere not too far down the line, he may have to sing it in front of a rather large crowd.