Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA
|Posted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:57 am Post subject: Taylor makes splash in Norway
|BY LIVINGSTON SCOTT Observer staff reporter
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Fabian Taylor's arrival at his new Norwegian club four months ago was greeted with scepticism however, the prolific former Harbour View striker has slowly erased those doubts and has worked his way into the hearts of club and supporters after just 11 matches with Notodden FC.
Popularly called Koji, the striker is the club's leading scorer and second overall with six goals, including a hat-trick. He said he is still not fully acclimatised to his new conditions, but believes an understanding is developing between himself and his teammates.
"It's just 10 games into the season, but it has been a good start for me," said Taylor during his recent trip home after the Norwegian league went on a three-week break.
"I'm not yet fully comfortable and I was finding it really difficult as their style of play is different," he said, adding that he plays as a lone striker - which is a new experience for him.
"They use three up top, but they play two wingers, so most of my supplies come from squares. Also, I'm not that tall, although I am very good in the air, so it's difficult when you're playing against a lot of tall defenders," he added.
"But now they understand how I play... and that they should play the ball more at my feet... so things are working out my way," he said. Things are starting to work so well for the player that he was voted as the striker in the media-selected All-Stars team for the early season break. With 20 matches remaining in the season, Taylor is hoping the team can continue to build on its best ever start and secure promotion for the first time in the club's history.
"My aim is to get the team up (to the Super League, Norway's top football league). Right now we're in a promotion spot for the first time in the history of the club, so my aim is to score some more goals and help push this team forward so we can get promoted," he declared.
Notodden are currently third and if they can maintain that position for the rest of the season it would mean automatic promotion. The fourth-placed team plays off against a demoted team from Super Liga. "They didn't know much about me before I went there... but now the club and its supporters have started to respond to me," Taylor told the Sunday Observer.
"There was a lot of pressure on the person (general manager Per Arne Hanson), who came here for me, but now he's a lot more relaxed, now that I'm scoring goals and helping the team to progress," he explained. An article in the Telen newspaper highlighted Taylor's impact since his arrival at the club.
"He is well loved and respected at the club and throughout the town by supporters, while gaining the respect of the opponents, football fraternity and enquiring regional Premier League Clubs, especially after being voted as the striker in the Media selected All-Star Team at the early season break," the article stated. Taylor admits his inclusion has been crucial in their eight-match unbeaten run.
The former Bridgeport High player came off the bench for his team's first two matches this season, which they lost. However, after being promoted to the starting team, the side is yet to taste defeat.
"I'm just hoping to stay fit because the club wants me to stay and I want to sign a new contract. But they are a small club with a small budget, so I'm just looking to perform to the best of my ability and see if I can move on to a bigger team in Norway or in Europe," Taylor said.
In the same article in the Telen newspaper, Nottoden's tough-talking technical director, Jan Halvorsen, himself a former professional player in the German Bundesliga, stated that, "Fabian Taylor is good enough to play in the Premier Division."
The 28-year-old, who has been in and out of the National Senior set-up, said he is looking forward to working with Rene Simoes for the first time. Taylor was last called to the squad against Costa Rica in January and thought he would have been more involved. "... but that's football... I've never been a mainstay of the national programme," he said.
Meanwhile, Harbour View general manager Clyde Jureidini, who visited Norway from June 2-9, said Taylor has been an instant success in Norway and he sees a positive future for the striker in that country.