After joining the coaching staff at Mill Farm, Andy Taylor has spoken at length with to discuss his reasons behind accepting the role. 


The 34-year-old explained a little bit more about the position he has accepted on Jim Bentley’s coaching staff, saying:

“I’ve officially accepted a ‘performance analysis’ role within the club, which means I will be analysing the opposition, putting together video footage for the manager and the team to see their patterns and style of play. But, also, what excites me about this role is the freedom to dip into other areas as well. I’ll be doing bits of coaching and getting involved in pretty much everything really! 

“When the manager [Jim Bentley] and Jonty [Castle, AFC Fylde Chief Executive] first mentioned it and I found out how much experience I could get being involved on match days and in the training throughout the week, it all sounded great to me and now I can’t wait to get going for the new season ahead.”

After taking qualifications outside of his playing career, coaching was the next natural step for Taylor, but he remains undecided which specific area he wants to master. The opportunity with AFC Fylde allows Taylor to explore that area further.

He said: “I’ve got my UEFA A licence, I’m also really close to finishing a sports science degree that I started five years ago. I want to stay in football, whether that’s more on the sports science side of things or the coaching side of things I am undecided which is why this role was so perfect as it gave my the chance to see all areas of a club and gain experience in different areas. 

“This is something I’ve been preparing for with what happened last season with my injury, it has come sooner than I expected and hoped but that’s football. Another aspect of the role is that it allows me to continue with my rehab at the club, to get my knee right, as I do still have aspirations of being able to play again, I have certainly not given up on that by any stretch of the imagination. The club have been brilliant with me on that, they said if I can get back fit then who knows what may happen.”

During the curtailed 2019/20 National League campaign, Taylor suffered a serious knee on a Tuesday night home fixture with Notts County. The hardy supporters in the ground that cold evening were all aware from the anguish on the defender’s face, that it was to be a serious and season-ending injury. 

“It was tough, really tough,” he explained. “I knew as soon as it happened that my knee had buckled and I knew what the possible implications of that would be… potentially never play again. With my age and the seriousness of the injury, it all just flashed through my mind. That’s the reason I didn’t get a stretcher off, there was no way I was getting stretchered off. If this was to be the last time I was on a football pitch then I was walking off it. 

“I am doing everything and will continue to do everything to get back fit, but realistically it may not happen and I did know that within an instant of it happening. It was gutting, absolutely gutting but it’s one of those things and just part of the game. I have been through it before with my other knee so I know what is expected now and how to do the rehab, which has helped during lockdown as I obviously haven’t been able to see any physios to get the help with it.”

The past four months or so have been hard for everyone in the world, not just those in football. However, Andy’s mindset is to always remain positive and that has helped to spur him through the tough times both with his injury and in a world that is currently experiencing a pandemic. 

Andy attempted to sum up his lockdown experience, saying: “It’s been interesting, that’s for sure,” before he was instantly interrupted by one of his children. “Brush your teeth for me, Daddy’s busy at the minute,” he had to instruct. 

“It’s been tough for everyone hasn’t it and I’ve got a busy household as you can tell! I knew I wasn’t going to be playing until Christmas but my missus had plenty of work booked in to see us through until then, which obviously she’s not lost because of all this, so yeah it has been a difficult period but it’s the same for everyone not just us. 

“We’ve been at home for four months, so we wanted to put a positive spin on it for our children. What a time to remember for them, Mum and Dad both at home every day playing with them, out in the garden, we got them a trampoline and built a playhouse so we managed to make it a positive time for them, that they can all look back on and realise we all sent such family time together. I do however, have a lot of new found respect for primary school teachers, the home schooling has been tough!”

And finally, a strong relationship with Jim Bentley as well as philosophies that match and align have made Taylor realise how much he wants to be part of the set-up with the Coasters, as we look to embark on a successful 2020/21 campaign.

On Jim, Andy told us: “I have played against his teams for years but we only came across each other on a personal level when he came into the club last season. He’s well renowned in the game for being a genuinely good guy and I can just reinforce that with my own experiences. 

“Working under him has been great, he plans everything around the players having the best chance to win on a Saturday which is so important and a philosophy I want to be a part of. When the opportunity came to join the coaching team it was perfect as that’s what I believe in as well. We are here to ensure the players perform on a Saturday and to develop them as players and people, that’s the Gaffer’s beliefs so straight away we’re all on the same page and I can’t wait to get back in and working.”