Newcastle center-back Steven Taylor wants to make the Great Britain team for the Olympic Games this summer.
Steven Taylor shown with referee Mike Dean earlier this season
Steven Taylor was wearing the surgical boot on his right foot yesterday, when he was photographed along with other Newcastle players with Richard Branson, the owner of Virgin and with one his companies – Virgin Mooney – is now sponsoring the Newcastle shirts.
Steven is making the long haul back after rupturing his Achilles tendon, and that usually takes around four months to finally heal, but then there are all the rehabilitation exercises on the ankle and getting back to full fitness after that.
Stuart Pearce was in attendance last night at the Arsenal vs Leeds FA Cup tie at the Emirates Stadium, and Stuart is the coach of the Great Britain team.
Steven Taylor was a great captain for Pearce when Steven was playing for the England U21 side a few years ago.
And of course Steven was in the best form of his career in the first 14 league games of this season, before the Achilles snapped near the end of the home game with Chelsea, which we lost 3-0.
Stuart has placed Steven on a short list of candidates from which he will pick his Great Britain squad, and Steven is keen to be fit so he is included in that Olympic squad:
“I would like to set the Olympics as my goal – that’s one target. It would be a massive honour to be involved.”
“I got a letter – among a lot of British players – about it and hopefully I can get myself in the mix. If I can, it would be amazing.”
“It gives me something to look forward to. You’ve got have a goal and I want something to get focused on, so this is a blessing.”
“Once I feel comfortable and the medical team are happy, that’s when I will be back, but I won’t rush myself.”
Steven had previously said he would like to return to the Newcastle team before the end of the season, and Newcastle’s last game of the season is on Sunday, 13th July at Everton, so he has a chance to make that game.
The league games have been brought forward by a couple of weeks to accommodate the Olympic Games.
It’s a long haul back for Steven, and we hope he can make that Great Britain squad, but in reality the best he can probably do is to be fit enough to return to pre-season training in early July.
If Steven can recapture the form he showed at the beginning of this season, he will again be one of the two Newcastle center-backs, in a team that may be able to make the breakthrough into the top six next season.
That depends largely on who Newcastle bring in during the summer transfer season, but if we have the same successful window we had last simmer, and can also keep all the players we have, that’s a distinct possibility.
For the record, Steven played 15 times this season for Newcastle and has 202 total appearances for his home town club with 13 goals and played 29 times with four goals for the England U21 side.