Odisha FC has agreed terms with English defender Steven Taylor over a one-year deal with an option to extend for a second year, ahead of the seventh edition of the Indian Super League (ISL).
Making his senior club debut with English Premier League club Newcastle United in 2003–04 football season, the 34-year-old centre-back played for more than a decade in the Premier League, becoming a Toon darling in the process before making a move to American MLS side Portland Timbers in 2016.
The London-born footballer had also represented England B and other English clubs Wycombe Wanderers FC, Ipswich Town FC and Peterborough United FC and played age-group tournaments for England’s Under-16, U-17, U-20 and U-21 teams.
Before joining the Bhubaneswar-based ISL team, Taylor was the captain of New Zealand’s Wellington Phoenix FC which competes in the Australian A-League. His towering presence in the defence helped the Wellington side to a third position finish in the last season. Steven clocked 49 games for the A-League side over two seasons and became a solid fan favorite.
Odisha FC head coach Stuart Baxter welcomed the new centre-back and said, “Steven’s credentials speak for themself, but more than that we are bringing leadership qualities into our young squad. He is an exceptional defender and is a presence that will give the whole team a whole boost.”
Steven Taylor expressed, “I am extremely delighted to join Odisha FC and am hopeful that my experience and leadership qualities will be helpful for the team. I am very happy to be working under Stuart once again and can’t wait to meet all the young Indian lads. I hope I can help the lads push on and in turn egg the team on towards the playfoff spots. I am looking forward to creating something special at Odisha FC, make no mistake about it.”
A man with a penchant for jet-skis, grit on the pitch and huge doses of leadership.
— Odisha FC (@OdishaFC) September 16, 2020