Home-loving Chris has Latics at heart

Date published: 21 December 2012

IF you ever thought Chris Taylor would abandon his Springhead roots when he made the agonising decision to swap his beloved Athletic for Championship side Millwall, fear not.

Literally, the first thing he does after shaking his opponents’ hands at the end of a match, is grab a teammate and ask how Latics got on.

After seven years with his home club, he was never going to kick the habit overnight.

The 25-year-old winger has had plenty on his plate since his switch last summer.

Moving to a new area, away from family and friends, adapting to a higher division and playing under the spotlight of regular Sky coverage, Taylor could be forgiven for putting the North-West to the back of his mind.

But twice-monthly trips home are permanent fixtures on his agenda and he has even popped his head round the door at Boundary Park.

“My roots are there, in the area and at the club, and a lot of my friends are still playing for them.

“There has been plenty going on since I moved south but I still get back to Oldham every other week, schedule permitting.

“The end of December and start of January will be a bit tricky because there are a lot of games coming up, including some in midweek. But I’ll be back again soon.”

Taylor wrestled with the decision to finally lave Athletic at the end of last season.

He admits that if he had been at a club without such emotional ties, he would have left earlier.

He continued: “It was my dream to play in the Championship with Athletic.

“We got into the play-offs with John Sheridan and it felt like we were going to go all the way, but lost in the semi-finals.

“Then we came close again, but Shez got sacked and it was a difficult time for everyone.

“After that it didn’t look like I was going to realise my dream of being promoted with Latics, so hard as it was, I decided to move on.”

Now Taylor, who admits to having being stale at the end of his Athletic career, is thriving again.

“Everything is different in the Championship — it is quicker, opponents are stronger and you are up against teams who can be consistently good,” he added.

“I love the fact my teammates are such quality players. It keeps me on my toes: I’m fitter, stronger and sharper than ever.”