Academy graduate Kian Taylor is bouncing back with Shrewsbury Town
Kian Taylor is the first winner of Shrewsbury Town’s scholar of the year and the latest in a long line of promising talents coming through the club.
The 18-year-old was honoured with the new award, named after chairman Roland Wycherley, at the club’s end-of-season presentation evening at the start of this month – the same day he penned a first professional contract.
The youngster, from Leicester, joined Shrewsbury at 16 after being let go by his boyhood Foxes and has caught the attention of academy and first-team staff at Montgomery Waters Meadow.
Connor Goldson, Ryan Woods and Andre Gray are headline recent examples of those who have forged impressive careers having come through the Town academy.
And left-footed defensive midfielder Taylor has his eye on emulating the progress made by Ryan Barnett, Ryan Sears and James Rowland in the last couple of years.
“Shrewsbury are good at bringing players through the academy and they do give players chances,” said Taylor.
“I want to push on next season, like James Rowland did last season and Barney and Sears have done.
“I want to be on that bench or playing next season.”
Taylor will spend every day of next season training with the first team at Sundorne and is relishing the chance to learn from Town’s experienced hands.
He added: “I trained with the first team last year once and was more involved this season, on the bench twice for the first team.
“I’m still yet to come on and play but training with them, being in and around the first team environment it’s a lot different but that’s where I want to be and that’s where I want to stay.
“Training with someone like Dave Edwards, the career he’s had – he’s had a very, very good career.
“To train with someone like him and the other lads and being in and around them is very pleasing.”
Even in his tender years, the teenager has already suffered football heartbreak, but knows the importance is to respond.
“It was tough. I’m a big Leicester fan, but that’s football,” he said of his Foxes rejection. “You’ve got to keep moving on like I have.
“I’ve come to Shrewsbury, another good club, and to get a professional contract is amazing. I’ve bounced back really well. Obviously it was heartbreaking but I’ve bounced back from it and it’s paid off for me becoming a professional footballer here at Shrewsbury.”