Republic of Ireland One to Watch: Jack Taylor

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With plenty of new faces arriving in the Ireland camp this week to replace the ever-growing list of absentees, it may feel like the first day at a school for several of them. However, one face that might be familiar to many of the senior squad is Jack Taylor.

Back in May of 2019, Stephen Kenny’s U-21 side took on Mick McCarthy’s senior team in a behind-closed-doors friendly. Some may remember that Kenny got the better of McCarthy that day, thanks to a second half brace from Jack Taylor.

It is fair to say that the young midfielder has not drifted far from Kenny’s thoughts having made an impression on the manager during his time with the U-21 squad. As we head into final international fixture of 2020 against Bulgaria, Taylor has been called up to the senior squad for the first time.

Where did it all start?

Jack Taylor began his footballing career in London at Chelsea. He was part of their youth team for seven years, but like many young players at Chelsea, the pathway to first team football is restricted. His decision was to move to Barnet, where he signed his first professional contract.

Taylor spent just under four years at Barnet, quietly perfecting his trade whilst many outsiders began to take notice. One of them being Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson, son of Sir Alex Ferguson. Peterborough got their man in January of this year, for reported fee of £500,000 rising to £1 million.

“I feel I am ready for the next step” were the words of Taylor when he linked up with his new club at the beginning of the year. And he was not wrong. Eleven appearances including two goals and two assists is not a bad return for his first season in League One.

If there were any questions surrounding Taylor’s capabilities at this level, there aren’t any now. Peterborough owner Darragh MacAnthony revealed in the summer that their recent signing was the subject of a bid close to £2 million after helping “transform last season”.

The Ireland U-21 midfielder hasn’t slowed down this season either, netting three goals already after ten games.

Ireland Call-Up

Only last month Taylor declared that a senior Ireland call-up is the “dream” but also remained realistic about his prospects. At 22-years-old, he believed a two year timeframe would be a more achievable goal for making the senior squad. A little over a month later, this dream has been achieved.

The sky is the limit for Jack Taylor and his career. From Non-League to League One. From Ireland U-21 to Ireland seniors. All in the space of a couple of years. Definitely one to keep an eye on.


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