Our women’s football correspondent, Abi Ticehurst, caught up with Maidenhead United Women’s manager Ryan Taylor as he discusses the midpoint of the season and what’s next for the Magpies.
Taylor took up the role as manager of the side in September of the 2021/22 season replacing Nevin Saroya.
The new manager begins by reflecting on how he feels the season has gone so far, “We were disappointed with our performances in the cup competitions, but since our exit from those competitions our performances in the league have improved, and the results have followed.”
The season hasn’t been without its frustrations however, with a number of cancellations across the league which Taylor feels has “affected continuity during the first half of the season.” He does however remain optimistic as “we are currently sitting in 5th at the halfway stage of the season, which is pleasing all things considered.”
Talking of optimism, Taylor explains his highlight of the season so far was the victory over Larkhall in December, “it was a very solid team performance and a great example of executing a game plan, with the added bonus of clean sheet in our 4-0 league win.”
That clean sheet wasn’t just a bonus, it was kept by keeper Gemma Evans who has come through the ranks of Maidenhead as she made her debut for the side having played for the under-18’s Ravens squad before breaking into the first team.
“All of our signings have added something to the playing squad, creating a healthy competitive environment. Notably, Kirsty Mathews hit the ground running with her performances in midfield, whilst also contributing 5 goals so far.”Taylor on how the new signings are settling in at Maidenhead United
A look ahead to the rest of the season for Taylor comes in the shape of improve league position. Maidenhead currently sit fifth in the Division One South West table having played eight games, with three wins, two draws and three losses to their name.
Taylor is keeping his cards close to his chest about where he wants the Magpies to finish however, “I have a clear goal for the season in terms of finishing position and that’s our target for the remainder of the season.”
Whilst they may have exited the Women’s FA Cup and both National League trophy, they still have a chance for an upset in their pending Berks & Bucks fixture, “We also have our sights set on reaching the County Cup final, but first we have to get past Reading in the upcoming semi-final.”
It’ll be no mean feat as they face the pyramid’s top tier side in the Royals.
We will continue to grow, on and off the field. Lots of work is being done off the field at the minute, specifically looking at creating player pathways for junior footballers within the area which is imperative for the long-term success of the club at senior level.Taylor on what we can expect from the team in 2022.
Maidenhead are next in action on 16th January when they face Exeter City away in league action.