Rhyl Dragons manager Steve Taylor is returning to playing at the age of 45

Steve Taylor

At the age of 45 a prolific striker from the North Wales coast is putting his shooting boots back on!

Steve Taylor will return to playing for Rhyl Dragons in the North Wales Coast East League this season.

Although the front man accepts he will not be the player of his prime, he believes he can still do a job in attack for the tier 5 side, who he also manages.

Steve has played for a number of clubs in his career – Point of Ayr, Rhuddlan Town and Glan Conwy to name but three – and also doubles up as a referee.

On top of this, he is also a musical entertainer, performing as a guitar/vocalist and DJ on the live circuit.

Football runs in the family as Steve’s daughter, Niomi Taylor, was part of the CPD Y Rhyl 1879 team which won the North Wales Women’s League last season without losing a game.

Grassroots North Wales asked Steve about his latest plans….

So you are planning a football comeback at the age of 45? Why are you making a return to the game?

Well, after losing nearly 3 stone in weight, me and the club feel that I can still offer something to the team for at least one season.
What we were lacking last season in front of goal and hold up play is what I feel I can bring.
Obviously I’m not the player I was 10 – 15 years ago but I still feel I have one season in me to offer something to the club.

Which teams have you played for in your career? and when did you last play competitively and who for?

I started at Rhyl Delta at the age of 16 (1993-94 season) and then I went to Point of Ayr and had many great years there, scoring a lot of goals. Netting over 100 goals meant a lot to me and the club.
Other ex clubs include Rhuddlan Town and Glan Conwy, which were the last team I played for competitively before going into management.

Are there any seasons you played in which stand out? What’s your most goals in a season total?

Obviously the stand out season for me was when I hit 54 goals in all competitions for Point of Ayr, gaining a golden boot that year and also winning promotion.
Also I earned a golden boot for the following 3 seasons.

One of your best achievements came as manager of Prestatyn Rovers, who played in the Vale of Clwyd and Conwy League between 2011-13 and won the NWCFA Intermediate Cup in 2012, beating Rhyl Reserves 1-0 in the final courtesy of a Martin King goal. What are your memories of that team?

This photo of Prestatyn Rovers winning the NWCFA Intermediate Cup is not the clearest, but is the best we have. Thanks to Steve for supplying it

I built that club from scratch and two years later we picked up a North Wales cup. Great season, that was one of my biggest highlights.

One full season behind you, how do you feel things have gone with Rhyl Dragons so far? Do you have high hopes for the season ahead?

Steve (left) and Dragons assistant manager Paul Maxwell (right)

Obviously being a brand new club, a lot of players came and went in the first season which will be the case until I find the right squad that I feel suits the club, playing and personality wise.
My squad is almost complete, we are still building here, still building the squad so to pick up any trophy this year would be a bonus as there are some good teams in our league. And securing Belle Vue stadium for our home games has also shown how much we are moving this club forward and how fast.
Big thank you to Tom (Jamieson) and Adam (Roche) at CPD Y Rhyl 1879.

Will you be a player-manager this season?

Yes, I will be a player-manager. Obviously at 45 not every game, but depending on how my body feels physically.

Tell us about some of the training you’ve been doing to get back into shape

I’ve been on a low carb diet now for 6 months, cutting out a lot of sugar, bread and potatoes.
So I’m living on a diet of meat and vegetables and I’m doing a casual workout daily, nothing too serious just sit ups, dumbbell work etc.
I live near the beach so every other day I’m walking or riding my bike there too.

Rhyl Dragons (red) in action against Llanelwy Athletic last season

You are also a referee – will you be carrying on with that?

Yes, I will be continuing to referee midweek games, ladies games on a Sunday and any junior games I get as well. I enjoy refereeing, but obviously I’m a player/manager this season and I am currently enjoying my time at Rhyl Dragons, so that will be my main focus.

You’re a man of many talents with your music performances too. What sort of music do you perform and do you have any big shows coming up?

Music has always been a big passion of mine and yes I have gigs most weekends both DJ and singing work, so I’m quite busy at the moment with that and it’s great to do something that I enjoy so much that also pays.

Your daughter Niomi won the North Wales Women’s League with Rhyl 1879 last season. Are you impressed with the way she’s played?

Niomi Taylor (white) had a great first season with Rhyl 1879

Niomi’s played really well this season and I know she’s enjoying it and Rhyl are enjoying having her there.
It was her first season with CPD Y Rhyl and to win the league unbeaten is a great achievement.
She’s not played a full season competitively for a few years due to work commitments but she’s looking forward to next season and slowly getting back to levels of where she was when she was playing for Wales.

How much are you looking forward to playing at Belle Vue with Dragons this season? Do you think this will help you improve as a club?

Yes, everyone at the club is really happy we secured Belle Vue this season, it’s a lovely pitch, well looked after by Tom and everyone at the club and we look forward to playing there every week.
It’s helped the club massively to attract sponsorship and players and it shows how fast the club is growing being only just 2 years old. It will also help with our promotion chances as well which will be our aim.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Paul Maxwell, Rhyl Dragons and Rhyl Dragons’ committee who work very hard behind the scenes and another big thank you to Tom and Adam at CPD Y Rhyl who have been amazing with us.
So fingers crossed for a successful season for Rhyl Dragons and hopefully I can help the club by chipping in with some goals.

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