Your Premier Jamaican Sports Portal
A marksman on a mission
Audley Boyd, Assistant Sport Editor
GIVE FABIAN Taylor half a chance and he will bury the ball into the goal.
Waterhouse were the latest Cash Plus Premier League (CPPL) side to suffer at the hands of the Harbour View marksman when he lashed a shot from near 20 yards that took a deflection on its way to scoring during their 1-1 draw at Drewsland Mini Stadium last Wednesday.
The Drewsland team, almost certainly, won't be the last.
Asked to comment on his scoring contribution, the man who knows how to make those half chances count noted: "I'm the leader and I intend to lead from the front".
In a fairly long, but somewhat abbreviated career, 27-year-old Taylor has proven to be a coach's dream as much as a defender's nightmare, given a healthy scoring appetite that has earned him many caps with the national senior team.
With the Premier League nearing the halfway stage, his goal on Wednesday pushed his tally this season to seven, just two off the league's high scorer, August Town midfielder Daniel Shaw.
Last season, he netted 15 times to lead Harbour View to championship honours, finishing third overall in the scoring table and in every other season before that, barring one when he counted off 11 goals, Taylor has scored at least 13 or more times since he joined Harbour View from St. Catherine team Central Link in 2000.
Back then, it was the very same thing. In the year and a half he spent with Central Link, he won the Player of the Season and Top Junior Player award for the National 'A' League because of his scoring exploits. A couple years back, he had been doing the same thing for his neighbourhood team, Newlands, winning the top goalscoring award in back-to-back years and leading them to the St. Catherine Division Two title.
Many other titles have come in between, beginning with the crown he won at Naggo Head Primary in the first year they entered the league, scoring six goals to boot.
It was not all that simple, though, as Taylor faced the same challenges many other little boys do while seeking to satisfy their affinity for football - mommy's belt. And he thrived through the same level of determination.
"My mother never wanted me to play football, she used to beat me to come out of the yard," Taylor laughingly admitted. "She wasn't really into it, but she realised from early that this is what I wanted to do."
Thanks to his cousin, Dwight Spence, who played Manning Cup for Camperdown, mom's attitude changed, but she gave 'cuz' the responsibility of "taking me to the ballground and back home".
"She loves football like 'wow'. Now, sometimes I have to ask her to stay home because she can't deal with the anxious moments all the time. She grew up to understand that this is what her son wanted. She comes to the ground most of the times," he explained of his mother, Pauline McCalla.
The influence has engulfed the family with support from his dad who, according to Fabian "knows the sport from top to bottom", as well as his sisters Denise Duncan, and Daheima and Petulia Taylor.
Denise, like Fabian, represents Jamaica and actually played in the Gold Cup with the Reggae Girls and she, like mom, are tops among his fan group, who have had much to cheer about.
Among his most cherished successes are the Lunar Cup, which he won in Asia with a local-based Reggae Boyz outfit last year, and the Caribbean Club Championship and Premier League titles he won with Harbour View last year.
The complete player who heads well and kicks equally well with both feet has been in and out of the national set-up but he remains unperturbed about not holding down a firm spot.
"I don't think I've had a bad patch with the national team. I think I did well and I've been doing well and I still have a lot to offer," he said. "I think in someways I've been treated unfairly but I never let that worry me. I just keep doing my work and scoring goals wherever I go. I'm a striker and I keep scoring goals - that's what I'm paid for. Whether I'm called or not, I'll still be scoring goals. It's not over until it's over. They say 'what don't dead, don't bury'. I'm ready for any challenge."
Taylor, a self-proclaimed lover of all sports, who actually captained the Colts (Under-16) cricket team while playing as a specialist batsman and spin bowler at Bridgeport Comprehensive High, has won the national knockout championship - Federation Cup - thrice and Jackie Bell KO (twice) with Harbour View.
Hee also went on a loan deal in 2004 to United States Major League Soccer outfit New Jersey MetroStars and scored six goals
Affected by injuries
He was affected by injuries in a major way and this limited his playing time significantly as he only competed in 16 games, mostly as a substitute.
"I think it's one of the downfalls in my career. Most of the times when opportunities arise I seem to get injuries. I guess it's one of those things," expressed Taylor, who has managed to maintain a positive outlook nonetheless. "I know those things (injuries) will happen ... for me it comes more regularly than others, but I use it as a motivation."
In 2004, he still ended up winning the Premier Lague's leading goalscorer award with 19 goals, despite leaving midway through the season for the MetroStars, which increased his knowledge base.
"It was a learning experience for me, it was a an eye-opener, to go out in the professional world and see what it takes to be a professional," explained Taylor. "It was very challenging but it wasn't hard for me. It's the same thing I do here at Harbour View, I work hard, that's me from day one. I've always been like that."
He added: "I look at it as my job, wherever I'm playing, whether it's division two or Premier League training or match, or in the national team, I give the same effort. That's my job and I'll continue to do that until I stop playing."