Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland keeper Maik Taylor made for coaching, says Tuffey

By Graham Luney

Jonny Tuffey says he hopes Maik Taylor doesn’t walk away from the game when he hangs up his gloves.

The 39-year-old Birmingham City stopper may call time on his international career after Northern Ireland’s Euro 2012 assault comes to an end.

Just 13 caps short of the century mark, Taylor has been the first name on the teamsheet for many years.

Inverness goalkeeper Tuffey is next in line to be Taylor’s successor and his first half performance against Morocco suggested he’s ready to make the number one position his own.

“I definitely think Maik will do coaching when he retires,” said Tuffey. “It would be a great shame if he didn’t.

“It’s his decision but he has so much experience and knowledge that it would be great if he could pass that onto young keepers.

“He came into the game a little bit later at the age he did and he learned a lot and progressed.

“He is great with myself and Alan (Blayney), always talking to us and helping us so he would be fantastic in a coaching role.”

Up next for Northern Ireland is the Carling Nations Cup in February and a date with Scotland — an opportunity then for Tuffey to do some gloating in front of his team-mates.

“It’s something that is very different and I’m sure the fans will be very supportive as there is that rivalry between the home nations,” he added.

“It would be nice to be involved in it and look back in years to come — hopefully I can have a laugh at my team-mate’s expense as well.”

Tuffey is loving life at Inverness under the guidance of former England international Terry Butcher. “He’s been fantastic and and he’s lived up to the early promises he made to us.”

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