Pic: David Loveday
BOBBY-JOE TAYLOR will no doubt always be remembered at Maidstone United for his play-off final goal against Kent rivals Ebbsfleet United.
The talented winger waltzed past the Fleet defence and smashed the Stones level in a gripping match that went all the way to penalties.
Taylor scored in the shoot-out too as Jay Saunders’ side reached Step 1 and last season he scored nine goals.
That form saw him called up to Paul Fairclough’s England C side and led to clubs, including from the Football League, knocking down the door for his signature this summer.
But big managers make big impressions and Aldershot have a persuasive boss in Gary Waddock.
“He’s gained promotion from this league before and he’s been at higher levels,” Taylor says. “I’ve been told he’s a really good coach and when I spoke to him he asked a lot of questions that not a lot of people do nowadays.
“I was open to that, which was nice, and he gave me his opinions. I think he’s the best manager for me, for my career.
“I don’t like to say too much but financially I had a couple of offers that were better. I’ve had an offer on the table from an English Football League club. But I think Gary and Aldershot are right for me. If I put in the work, he can turn me into the player I think I can fulfil.”
Taylor left Cambridge United, where he came through the youth system, two years ago in search of regular football.
Maidstone gave him that chance and the platform to push on from. His is a lesson other footballers should heed when it comes to shedding of the kudos that goes with being a ‘Football League player’.
Signing for Aldershot is, he hopes, the next step back to that.
“It’s all about building and stepping on from where you left off,” Taylor adds. “I want to go back all guns firing. I want to be as fit and as sharp as I can to give myself the best opportunity. The main thing will be to help Aldershot try to get back to where they want to be.
“I’m really looking forward to it. It’s been exciting in the off season with coming away with England C and now getting something sorted so quickly. I’m excited.”