For a teenager to go on a week’s work placement, to sample the experience of working in an office, is not uncommon.
However, when Taylor Brown signed up to spend five days with the Scottish FA, there was nothing run of the mill about it.
The confident 15 year old, who plies her trade for Valencia CF Féminas, was in Scotland to complete a work placement with the Scottish FA Central Region at their Stirling University base.
She is keen to make her debut for the Scottish national side and has trained with them on a number of occasions.
The work placement was a year in the making. It came about when Taylor met the Scottish FA Central Region on her 2013 summer holiday in Stirling. She was keen to organise a week’s work experience on her 2014 trip back to her native country and Regional Manager Andrew Gilchrist was delighted to bring her in.
Moving to Spain with her family aged 7, Taylor began playing with her local school, and then local side Marina Alta FC before moving onto a local foundation affiliated with Chelsea FC, Vilmarxant. She then finally made the move to her heroes, Los Che. Taylor said “Even before I joined Valencia they were my team, along with Rangers, so it’s a dream to play for them.”
Beginning life as a defender, Brown only began playing in goals after her side’s goalkeeper left and no-one else was willing to go between the sticks. “At first I got a bit of stick and I told (them) to go in. After that I got an apology and it was fine.”
One of the biggest transitions has been changing from playing with a team of English speaking players to a team of Spanish speakers; Taylor is the only British player at Valencia, after beginning playing at the British school she attended. “To begin with it was difficult with as I’d always been used to playing with English speakers, but now it’s no problem.”
Taylor’s team, the Under 17’s currently play in the Comunitat Valenciana regional divisions and the B team have recently been promoted to the National leagues. The first team currently play in the Primera Division alongside other Spanish giants as FC Barcelona, RCD Espanyol and Atletico Madrid.
A big inspiration has been Scottish international Shannon Lynn. The Vittsjo GIK ‘keeper has spent time with clubs like Chelsea & Hibernian and Taylor confesses “loving training beside her,” and that “everything she does is a joy to watch.”
A possible dilemma facing the young shot stopper will be her future career options. Although she loves playing with Valencia, she is looking to return to the UK in a few years’ time for university. One alternative she also suggested was a move to the US for ‘College’ where women’s football is booming and teams like Chicago Red Stars and Portland Thorns attract worldwide interest.
Short term however, Taylor is very clear in what her aims are. “I’ve not had a cap for Scotland yet, so I want to get my first and then go on and claim the jersey.”
While in Scotland, working with the Scottish FA Central region team, Taylor has trained with Falkirk Ladies; undertaken club visits with Kerry Kennedy; spent some time working with the media team at Glasgow City as they take on FC Union Nove Zanky; and she has also attended Glentoran vs WFC Kharkiv at The Falkirk Stadium in the UEFA Womens Champions League. There have also been visits to Central region Schools of Football to deliver kit for the new season alongside former St. Mirren, Hearts & Celtic player; and current Player and Coach Development officer Jimmy Bone.
The week has been a fantastic experience for football mad Taylor. A name you are sure to hear plenty more of in Scottish women’s football circles in years to come.