"This move feels like the right fit" | Taylor Moore's first interview

Taylor Moore poses outside

Taylor Moore keeps coming back to one word. Ambition.

The centre-back is an ambitious person, one who still feels so much hunger to succeed both as an individual and in a team. When the 27-year-old learned of how ambitious Bristol Rovers is too, Moore was convinced a switch to The Memorial Ground was the right move for him.

Moore has become the Club’s seventh signing of the summer, joining on a three-year deal with the option of a further season following a year with French team Valenciennes, and the defender cannot wait to get started with the Pirates.

Talks with manager Matt Taylor and Director of Football George Friend showed Moore the aims of the team, both on and off the pitch, and now he is eager to make his mark in the blue-and-white quarters.

Having lived in Bristol before, Moore knows the passion of the Gasheads and their unwavering support for the team. It is an atmosphere he is licking his lips in anticipation of stepping out into for the very first time…

Taylor Moore arms crossed in the gym

How does it feel to be a Bristol Rovers player?

“It feels good to be here. It was a big decision and the biggest emotion I’m feeling right now is pure excitement. I’m really, really happy to be here and continue my journey in football.”


What’s a day like today like from your perspective, when a transfer is pulled together?

“I think it varies from club to club and where you go. With this one, it’s taken a little bit of time and I’ve had a few conversations in the last few weeks with the manager and with George Friend, and with some of the lads who I know here already. 

"You get closer to the day when you actually sign and that day is always a bit of a whirlwind in that you do the medical, sign a contract, speak to the media team, and get a feeling for the people who are here and what the Club is like. It’s a good day though.”


How have those talks gone with the manager Matt Taylor and with George Friend?

“All the talks have been really positive. It has been a decision that has taken a bit of time but ultimately I feel it’s the right decision for myself. They’ve both been brilliant with me and very clear about what they want from myself, what they want from the team and what they want from the Club in general. They’ve explained where they see the Club going and it has been really smooth. Credit to them because they’ve been brilliant the whole way through, and my agents have been brilliant as well.”

Taylor Moore poses

Why is the project at Bristol Rovers the right move for you right now?

“I think there are many factors. I know how big this Club is, having been in Bristol previously. With where the Club is at now and where it’s trying to get to, there’s a lot of ambition to push up the table in EFL League One as much as possible and eventually become a Championship team. That ambition is here, it’s been stated by the manager and, as a player, you want to go somewhere with that project and ambition.

“This is a big stage for me personally in my career. I want to be somewhere I feel settled and really part of the project. The ambition is to build and push on at Bristol Rovers and it really does make this move feel like the right fit.”


You lived in Bristol for a long time before. How is it to return to the city?

“I was in Bristol before, with Bristol City for eight years, and I went out on loan more times than I can count. I had a very good time in Bristol and I appreciate the city, and the people, and I’ve got some really good connections here that I’ve maintained over the years. For me, coming back to live in Bristol, I know how big of a decision that is when you’ve got two clubs here in the city.

“Bristol City will always be part of my footballing career and I’ll always be grateful for the time I got to spend there. But, as a footballer, you’ve got to make big decisions and when one door closes, another opens. It feels right being here at Rovers and living in Bristol again, and I can’t wait to get going.” 

There’s a lot of ambition here to push up the table in EFL League One as much as possible and eventually become a Championship team.
Taylor Moore

Tell me a bit about the last year of your career. You were back out in France, and it was a tough season for Valenciennes…

“It was a really difficult season. It was a big decision, having been released by Bristol City, and I decided to go back to France where I grew up. I’ve spent half my life out there and I speak the language, and the opportunity came up to sign with Valenciennes. It seemed like a really good fit and I jumped into that project, and tried to make the most of it.

“It was really difficult from the off for us. I played a lot of games in the first half of the season but a few things happened in the second half of the season and the Club and I agreed to terminate my contract. I’ve had time to reflect on what I want to do and where I see my career going, and I’m ready to be back in the UK and be playing for Rovers.”


How does this level of English football compare to French football?

“It’s very different. Of course, there are differences between the leagues here in England but going abroad brings something completely different. That’s not only in football but also with the mentality, the dressing room, the staff and the culture. It was a complete change and I think I ended up missing that English environment after a couple of months. I missed the banter and the work ethic and it’s something I’m really looking forward to again.”


Where do you feel like Taylor Moore is at in his career at the moment?

“I feel like I’m at a stage where I want to be ambitious. I’ve looked at my career so far and I’d say I’ve had some really good times at some clubs, and some more difficult times at some others. I’ve experienced enough in my career now to know what I like and what I want and I feel you get to an age where you want to be in your prime with a club that has the ambition to be successful. Perhaps I’ve not had the best of luck in terms of certain moves, but this is one I’m definitely looking to make sure is a success.”

Taylor Moore is all smiles having signed for Bristol Rovers

What do you think your best attributes are?

“I would say I’m versatile. I feel like I can play anywhere across the defensive line and in defensive midfield. My versatility has sometimes been my greatest asset and, for some managers, it has also been a bit of a problem. But it’s something I feel I can bring.

“I also think my passion and my heart too. I think anyone who has seen me play football or played alongside me will say that I will always give 110 per cent for the team I’m playing for. I know I need to improve in a lot of areas in my game but also I think my attributes include things like my running, my strength and my passing.

“I’ve had long conversations with the manager about the things I can improve on too and, I’m not the youngest anymore at 27, but I’m still looking to improve every day. Having those conversations with the manager has been brilliant.


You’ve experienced The Mem from the other side before. How exciting will it be to step out there as a Bristol Rovers player for the first time?

“I’m really excited. I know, from being on the receiving end, just how passionate Rovers fans are. I played here for a couple of different clubs over the years and people knew I was on loan from Bristol City at the time, so you get the stick for that and I know how passionate these supporters are.

“You understand what it means to Bristol Rovers fans and I’m looking forward to walking out and having them on my side. They can be rest assured I will be giving 110 per cent for them every time I step out onto that pitch. I’m really looking forward to it and I’m really excited to sink my teeth into this new project.”


Read Time: 8 mins