Taylor looking for fresh challenge
Manchester United defender Max Taylor has confirmed he is leaving the club in the summer and is pursuing new ambitions, possibly on the continent.
In an exclusive interview with Joe Thompson, the centre-back discussed his future and also spoke about his role in helping to raise awareness of testicular cancer with Movember.
After loan experience with Kidderminster Harriers this term, the 21-year-old is ready to kick on in senior football and is keen to consider a move abroad. He was on the first-team bench for the Europa League tie with Astana in 2019.
"It was a decision that was made, more or less, in pre-season when we spoke," he said. "Even before that, when I signed my extension, I would sign it to go on loan and the club would help me get more experience. Then we both decided. I want to play more, from my side, that I want to play men's football. If it's not going to be here, that's just the way it is sometimes.
“It's always special, when you're a scholar doing your apprenticeship, and your first pro contract after that is an amazing thing to happen. I dreamt of it as a young boy, to get a professional contract at Manchester United, and it was amazing when it happened. But I've seen my friends move on and it's at the point now to part ways, it's the right time.
“It was great at Kidderminster, a completely new experience. Obviously, you have the luxury of the facilities at United so going down to the National League North is a culture shock, to an extent, but the way of playing football and stuff. I learned so much, especially in my position, with the help of the manager and players there. It was a really tight-knit group which really helped me.”
Taylor was forced to spend some time out of the game, at the age of 18, due to testicular cancer but is feeling better than ever and has impressed for the Under-23s this term and during his loan at Kidderminster.
"I couldn't have asked for a better team here," he admitted. "The physio, Dr McNally was unbelievable and Mark Hulse has been massive in my recovery, the strength and conditioning coach here. All the physio team have been amazing getting me back fit and, since then, I've gone from strength to strength. I'm probably in the best physical shape I've ever been.
“It's going to be sad to leave United behind. They're my club and always will be my club. I'll always love United, no matter what, but I' m really excited for the next stage now. I've always liked the idea of playing abroad. I think it'd be an amazing experience to go and discover a new culture and live somewhere else with different styles of football. I enjoy different styles of football so whether it'll be in the leagues in England or abroad, I'm definitely open to both.
“Obviously, I'll be going to a new club in the summer for regular men's football and I'm really looking forward to the next chapter.”
Movember have teamed up with Max to continue awareness of testicular cancer, which is an important project he was keen to help promote.
"They contacted United, and when I got told and was first made aware of it, as soon as I heard, I thought it was a great opportunity to raise awareness. I don't feel like it's talked about enough. I went to a boys' school and not once did we have talks on health that could be for boys. I think girls do it really well. They talk about breast cancer, smear testing and things like that. It's amazing they openly talk about it. Guys need to get on the same page and be open to talk about health with each other or whoever they feel comfortable enough to talk about it with.
“I've always said I never want to be known as, oh yeah, he had testicular cancer when he was 18. Of course, it's always going to be part of my story and my past but I want to do more things in my life. I want to help people, have success of my own and have a great life and be happy, helping as many people as I can along the way.”