“It was a upsetting to have to move on but my career wasn’t going anywher
Taylor, 19, has signed a one-year deal with Championship club Hull City after being released by West Ham United, where he spent five years at the Upton Park Academy following in the footsteps of fellow striker Dylan.
When he reflects on what’s required to make the grade in a country where many audition but few succeed, he has only to think of Dylan, the Australia youth international whose burgeoning career with West Ham was cut short 15 months ago when he lost a courageous three-year battle with testicular cancer.A winger with an eye for goal, Taylor has already scored twice in the pre-season for Hull’s Academy side and acknowledges the all-pervading essence of his sibling as a driver of his own career.
“Dylan is a massive inspiration to me, absolutely huge,” he said. “He was a quality player and a fantastic character and somebody I always looked up to.”
“He was the person I wanted to aim to be like and, of course, I still do more than ever.”
“Dylan was destined for the top, there’s no doubt in my mind about that. He had all the attributes needed to be a top player in the Premier League and also for Australia.”
The sublimely gifted Dylan, who died aged 20, joined West Ham as a 15 year-old striker and made his senior debut in the League Cup against Wigan in September 2012.
“As kids back in Perth growing up we played a lot of one-on-one together though at West Ham we were kept apart because he was in an older age group.”
“He gave me a lot of encouragement and belief in my own ability and wouldn’t let me give up when things maybe weren’t going so well.”
“He was determined to make sure that everybody he was ever involved with reached their potential.”
“Probably back in the day we were quite similar players but we became quite different as we matured a bit.”
“He was more a hold-up player who would then turn a defender and get a shot away on goal, whereas I am more of winger and I love to use my pace to get down the flank and get in a cross or cut in and have a crack at goal.”
Taylor trained with Hull City, the one-time home of former Socceroos attacker Richard Garcia, for the final two months of last season and is determined to force his way into manager Steve Bruce’s plans as the Tigers bid to bounce straight back to the Premier league in 2015-2016.
“I think the chance is there to break into the senior squad this season,” Tombides said. “I just need to keep working on a few things and get a little bit sharper and a little bit better.
“I have been training with the Under-21s and the fist team have been away in Austria – but with the season coming close now, I am hoping to get the chance to train with senior boys.”
“This is a very important year for me … the chance to show myself and hopefully land a long-term contract.”
“There’s a good feeling around the club. The belief is they can get back to the top division either this year or the next. They have a good squad and are going to do well in the Championship.”
Taylor, who arrived at Upton Park as a 14 year-old was philosophical about his exit.
“It was a upsetting to have to move on but my career wasn’t going anywhere there so it was time to move on and it’s worked out perfectly getting another club so soon,” he said.
“I thank West Ham for everything they did for me, but it was time to go. I have definitely progressed since coming here and I think I’m a lot more of a player than I was a year or so ago.”
“I am improving every day and I am just waiting now for the opportunity to be able to prove it.”
Taylor is an avid backer of the Dylan Tombides ‘DT38′ Foundation – in honour of his shirt number – a charity launched by mother Tracy last February to raise funds and awareness of the threat of testicular cancer and to promote its early diagnosis through education programs.
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