Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Jacksonville University forward Tony Taylor's professional future may be taking a large step forward when the IK Start trialist faces Viking in a training match tomorrow.
Taylor landed in Norway earlier this week and has temporarily joined the club which already boasts Americans Hunter Freeman and Clarence Goodson.
The U.S. Under-20 player will also have the opportunity to immediately impress when he takes the field on Thursday in a training match.
"He arrived a few days ago and has taken part in at least two training sessions," Start press officer Roy Emanuelsen relayed to YA.
"Tomorrow afternoon we'll play a training match against another team in the top league in Norway, since we have a two week break from the league. This means he'll probably have some minutes to show what he's good for in that match."
The native Floridian tallied six goals for the Dolphins during the 2008 season and hopes to show the same playmaking skills while he is in Kristiansand.
Start has had an up and down season in this year's Eliteserien which included an impressive road win at third place Odd Grenland prior to the midseason break and then a disastrous 8-1 loss at Molde this past Sunday.
Due to a wrench in the schedule, Start has another two weeks off before resuming play, giving the club ample time to review Taylor's skills which has resulted in one goal and two assists in six appearances for Thomas Rongen's U-20 squad.
"We're excited about that and it's good timing for him to come to us now because it will give him an opportunity to show what he's like as a player," continued Emanuelsen.
"Usually we don't have any training matches during the season but since this small window includes a national team match it means that we have a break for two weeks."
Should Taylor impress against top division rivals Viking, and earn himself a spot on the roster, he would join an ever expanding list of Americans playing in Norway's top two divisions.
Following tomorrow's match, the resident of the Sunshine State will continue training with Start for another week and soon thereafter the southern Norwegian club anticipates that a decision regarding the young attacker will be made.
"How long he stays with the team depends on what he delivers, so to say," added Emanuelsen. "He's been here now this week and I guess he'll stay here for at least one more week, then [the coaching staff] will have to conclude, so probably a decision will be made in a few weeks."
Start currently sit in sixth place in the league standings with 29 points while Taylor is coming off of his three appearances with the U-20 team at last month's Copa Cuidad de Rosario in Argentina.