Glentoran goalkeeper James Taylor got a taste for trophies last week...and now he’s hungry for more.
The big stopper starred in his first showpiece on Saturday when the Glens defeated Coleraine in the Co-operative Insurance Cup final at Windsor Park, turning in a solid display and further extending his reputation as one of local football’s brightest young keepers.
Taylor has been in and out of the Glens team since signing at the beginning of last season with Elliott Morris proving difficult to shift. However, Morris was dropped after a poor display against Linfield in the JJB Sports Irish Cup last month — Scott Young’s first game in charge — and since then Taylor has grabbed his opportunity with both, very big, hands.
The east Belfast man didn’t play enough games to win a championship medal last season with the Glens and may not have done enough this year either, but that hasn’t hampered Taylor’s hunger to be involved in more big games.
“It was great to play in my first final, this is why you want to play for a club like Glentoran because you have the chance to play in big games like these,” he said.
“I didn’t have a great deal to do but made a couple of saves and I’d like to think I played my part, the way everyone did.
“Now I am hoping that there are going to be a lot more days like that. I want to be playing in title deciders and cup finals and Big Two games regularly and to do that i just have to keep up my own performances.
“To be fair to Scotty (Young) he has given me a chance since he came in and shown a lot of faith in me and now all I can do is go out there and repay that faith. I think I’ve done ok since I got back in the team but I know that you have to keep playing at your best otherwise you can lose your place.”
The Glens take on Dungannon Swifts tomorrow at the Oval in the only ‘post-split’ game. With Linfield playing in the Setanta Sports Cup in Dublin, the champions have the opportunity to go to within two points of the leaders with a victory over the Swifts.
No one would have given Glentoran any hope of being anywhere near challenging at this stage following a 2-0 defeat to Dixie Robinson’s men at Stangmore Park at the end of February, which many felt was the final nail in their Gibson Cup coffin. But under Young things have taken a turn for the better and while Linfield have to be favourites, it’s far from over.
“We know we are still in with a chance,” added Taylor. “All we can do is win our games and hope other results go our way.”