Doncaster Rovers: 'I came on and set the goal up - it was the first thing I'd done in three months' - Jon Taylor on a summer of uncertainty
A summer of uncertainty ended with a whirlwind for Jon Taylor.
The search for a new employer went on longer than he expected or was comfortable with.
But in just a couple of days he went from having deep concerns over his future to grabbing his first assist for Doncaster Rovers and he has barely looked back since.
Promised a move to a Championship club following Rotherham United’s relegation to League One, Taylor immediately rejected the offer of a new deal with the Millers.
But a contract to remain in the second tier never materialised, leaving him with an anxious wait for his next club.
“It was hard,” he told the Free Press.
“I don't think anyone realises how hard it was for me at the time.
“I had no pre-season – not one game, not one training session.
“I signed here after the first game of the season so I was sat watching Sky Sports News while the lads were playing Gillingham.
“I was thinking ‘it’s a bit mad this, I wasn’t expecting this.’
“It’s not like I was asking for more things from anyone. I was just trying to find the right club for me at the time.
“I was thinking ‘I need to start going somewhere.’
“It wasn’t nice because you’re thinking, will the right club come?
“I starting thinking maybe I should have signed somewhere else. I’d had League One offers over the summer that I’d turned down because I didn’t think they were right for me.
“I was waiting. I didn’t want to rush. I’d waited that long and I needed to wait for the right one for me, somewhere I could develop and get my enjoyment back in football.
“Attacking, scoring goals.
"Luckily Doncaster came in for me.”
Darren Moore had held an admiration for the 27-year-old as he assumed control of Rovers in July but it was not until the season had already commenced that contact was made.
While it was apparent it would take some time for Taylor to reach full fitness, he was thrust straight into action.
“I signed on the Friday morning and I was involved straight away on the Saturday,” he said.
“I came on and set the equaliser up and that was the first thing I’d done since the end of last season, so three months.
“I think that was good, it bedded it me in well.
“I came on for half an hour or so in the next game, then I played 45 minutes against Lincoln and then I was ready to go.
“Over the summer I was working every single day and I was probably in the best shape of my life.
“But the difference between doing it yourself and match fitness is massive really. The gaffer pulled me the other day and said he can see a big difference in me already.
“I think I’m ready to go now.”
Just a fortnight after renewing acquaintances with the Millers, Taylor will find himself up against another former club this weekend in Peterborough United.
He says he sees his time at Rovers as an opportunity to return to the style of football he enjoyed at London Road.
“When I was at Peterborough it was pretty similar,” he said.
“I think people think that I’m an out-and-out winger but when I was at Peterborough I played on the left of a diamond.
“That’s when I scored the most goals I’ve ever scored in a season.
“At Rotherham I was an out-and-out winger. I loved my time there but I wanted to play more attacking football for a more attacking team.
"It was probably the main attraction about coming here.”