Taylor Maloney: My opportunity to impress in Portugal

Lee Bowyer’s players headed to Portugal on Sunday for a five-day, intense training camp. Throughout the week, members of the Charlton squad will be keeping supporters up to date with their progress. 

So far, we have heard from Lewis Page and Jake Forster-Caskey and, today, young academy graduate Taylor Maloney speaks about making the most of his chance with the first team…

The trip has been a really good experience for me and the other younger boys like George [Lapslie], Albie [Morgan] and Ash [Maynard-Brewer] so far. 

I wanted to be pushing towards the first-team this year and being around the squad day-in, day-out has been a big help for me. 

I found out that I’d be going on the tour three or four days before we flew out. When I was told, I was a little bit surprised but it was a nice surprise because, like I said, I’m hoping to be in and around the first team this season. My mum was the first person that I spoke to about it and I said that she’d need to help me pack!  

We’ve been working really hard. This morning [Thursday], we had breakfast at 7.30am and then went back to the room before cycling down to the beach, which took about 20 minutes. Then we did a hard run. 

It was about 10km in total. The first part we did at quite a steady pace, which took about 12 minutes, and then the last bit we did in nine minutes when we really pushed ourselves. It was so hot, which made it even tougher.  

Bow [Lee Bowyer] did the run too and he and Johnnie Jackson have been a big help to me on the trip. He’s been telling me to work hard every day and that it’s all about working hard, preparing for the season and getting fit. 

He’s always talking to us young players on the training pitch, helping us out, telling us new things that, as a young player, you maybe don’t know. It’s good to hear it from someone who’s been there and done everything and it helps us out a lot.

Bow and Jacko obviously understand the role I have to play in midfield, so I’m picking things up from them all the time. If I’m not doing it right, they’ll see it and tell me. There’s little things that we, as young players, haven’t got the hang of just yet but we’re learning day-in, day-out and it’s really good being around them.

We all went out to watch the England game on Tuesday night, which was fun. The boys made me and Albie stand up and sing Three Lions in front of everyone. We didn’t know all the words, so we mumbled a bit of it, but we got the chorus out a few times and it was a good laugh and we enjoyed it. 

We’re all England fans like everyone else, so hopefully the team can keep going. 

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