With a free weekend looming due to Vale’s Scottish Cup inactivity, coach Sean Taylor took the opportunity to reflect on the season so far. And he is keen to see the high standards that have been set pushed even further.
He is in his first coaching role after Chris Anderson asked him to come in and help out primarily on the fitness and conditioning side of things. Sean is a personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach in his day job, and played amateur football until recently.
As well as helping out at training, he takes the lead during match day warm ups and after a promising start to the season, he is relishing his new role.
He told us: “It has been great so far. Each week delivers a new challenge and it is great having the responsibility in training and pre-match to work with the players.
“So far we have maybe raised a few eyebrows in the league – a small club in a league where other clubs have bigger budgets at their disposal, but we have created a wonderfully professional environment where players can flourish.
“So far so good but we can do more and it’s only October. It’s a long season and this next spell of matches is crucial for us.”
As fitness coach, Taylor was heavily involved during pre-season training and he now feels that the players are seeing the fruits of their labour.
“A lot of my work pre-season was focused on getting the boys in peak physical fitness ahead of the opening match but we continue to work hard on various conditioning aspects every week.
“The boys are without doubt one of the fittest squads in the league. I take great pride in that and although it has not won us games it has meant we are still playing at full tilt into injury time. But like every aspect of the game we continue to push the players to be fitter, stronger and faster”, he added.
The performance so far this season has been an improvement on the last campaign’s 13th position, but the staff are eager to ensure standards remain high in order to stay higher up the league.
Taylor said: “We cannot look too far ahead but over the next six weeks we will see where the club is headed for the remainder of the season. Sixth place after the first third of the league is better than where the club was last year but this is a new team with a different culture and we as a staff and playing group will keep pushing each other’s standards week in week out.”
Vale travel to league leaders East Kilbride next before matches against Gretna, Gala Fairydean Rovers, Edinburgh University and Whitehill Welfare.