AFC Fylde is thrilled to have announced that Taelor O’Kane has graduated from the Academy to sign his first professional deal with the Club.

After putting pen to paper on a one-year contract at Mill Farm, Taelor spoke of his delight at signing his first-ever professional contract and said: “I’m very happy to commit my immediate future to the Club because I feel that this is the perfect place to continue my journey.

“For the past two years, I’ve worked hard every day to be given a chance and eventually sign a professional contract for this Club, so when I was given the opportunity, I was ecstatic.”

Taelor has only been a part of the Academy setup since U17s level after joining from grassroots football and recognises that his hard work has eventually paid off. 

“I joined the U17s side from grassroots and went on to captain the U18s this season. During that time, I tried to work hard and impress my coaches in training and games.

“One day, Andy Taylor took one of our academy sessions, and all I wanted to do was impress him.

“The next day, I was asked to train with the first team, where I tried to impress again, and that has led to me training with the first team for the past six months. 

Being in and around a first-team environment is a good experience for any youngster, and Taelor feels that he is in a much-better place for it ahead of the 2023/24 season.

“I’ve learnt so much already from being around the lads – they all have a great bond, and that has helped me settle in and be amongst them.

“Having good players around me every day in training has pushed me to keep my standards high and has made me a better player.

“Especially last season, watching the team become champions was inspiring for me, and I’ve learnt a lot about the mindset of this Club through them.”

With the start of the 2023/24 pre-season schedule just over a month away, Taelor described how Adam Murray and Andy Taylor have helped him during his time in the first team setup.

“The Gaffer (Adam Murray) has made me feel welcome and allowed me to be around the team to learn the standards he expects on and off the pitch. He’s got great experience, and that shows with the amount of detail that goes into preparing for each game.

“Tayls (Andy Taylor) has helped me a lot in the time I’ve been with the team. He’d go out of his way after training to do extras with me and has given me coaching points after sessions on how to improve.

“If given an opportunity next season, I will give everything I have for the gaffer, Tayls and the Club.”