Best defence in league is number one target for new Fylde keeper

Rhys Taylor
Rhys Taylor
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New AFC Fylde goalkeeper Rhys Taylor was delighted to get his Coasters career off to the perfect start after a whirlwind day.

The Welshman was thrown into the starting line-up just hours after receiving international clearance and helped his new club to a 1-0 opening-day victory at AFC Telford.

The 26-year-old Taylor, who spent most of last season at Wrexham on loan from Newport, began his career with Chelsea but couldn’t break into their first team in five years as a professional.

He gained League experience in loan spells at Crewe and Rotherham, then establishing himself as number one in two seasons at Macclesfield Town before joining Newport last summer.

The former Wales U21 international was one of seven debutants for Fylde at the New Bucks Head Stadium and insists it was a huge three points.

“I’m delighted to have got the deal done in time,” he said. “It’s the perfect start for me – a win and a clean sheet. That’s what I have come here to do –to win games.

“Talks had been going on for a few weeks and I had been in for a couple of training sessions, so I’m just pleased to have it all sorted now.

“I want us to have the best defensive record in the league and Saturday was a great way to start. I thought our defence was brilliant and dealt with everything thrown at them.

“Dom (Collins) was exceptional. He won everything and was solid as a rock, which is reassuring when you are behind someone like that.

“I think that will be one of the toughest 90 minutes we will have this season. They are a big, tough team.

“They just played ‘boom ball’ all game, getting the ball into the box as much as possible, but we coped very well.”

Taylor was also full of praise for matchwinning striker Danny Rowe.

He added: “If we keep clean sheets and Danny scores we will win games. Hopefully we will only need to score once to win most games.

He’s got a hammer of a right foot and can score from anywhere. It’s nice to have someone like that in the team – even when he’s not having the best game, he will usually pop up with a goal.”

Now Taylor is anticipating a home debut at Mill Farm this Saturday against Brackley. “I went to the new stadium last week and it looks lovely,” he said. “The chairman’s plans are very exciting, so it’s good to be here for the foreseeable future.”

Fylde further bolstered their goalkeeping ranks with the additions of Tony Thompson and Ed Wilczynski from Chester and Huddersfield respectively.

DANIEL AGNEW