Taft playing for York City in 2013
|Full name||George William Taft|
|Date of birth||29 July 1993|
|Place of birth||Leicester, England|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|2011||→ Kettering Town (loan)||14||(0)|
|2012||→ Karlstad BK (loan)||12||(0)|
|2013||→ York City (loan)||3||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 07:28, 27 March 2015 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
George William Taft (born 29 July 1993) is an English professional footballer who plays for Burton Albion as a defender. A graduate of Leicester City's youth academy, Taft failed to break into the first team and was loaned out to Kettering Town, Swedish club Karlstad BK and York City. In 2014, he joined League Two team Burton Albion on a two-year contract. Taft was capped by England at under-18 and under-19 level, and was a member of the squad for the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Born in Leicester, Leicestershire, Taft started his career at Leicester City where he is a product of their youth academy. He signed a professional contract with Leicester on 17 March 2011, tying him to the club until the summer of 2013. His first involvement with the first team was as an unused substitute against Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup third round tie which ended 0–0 on 7 January 2012. In the replay also he was an unused substitute, when Leicester won 4–0.
In order to gain first team experience, Taft was loaned out to Conference Premier side Kettering Town in August 2011 and after playing seven times for the side had his loan spell extended by a month in September. He returned to Leicester in October 2011 having completed the loan with 14 appearances for Kettering.
On 29 August 2013, Taft joined League Two club York City on a one-month loan, and made his debut two days later in the team's 2–1 away defeat at Exeter City. Having made three appearances for York, he was sent back to Leicester on 23 September 2013 after falling behind David McGurk, Danny Parslow and Chris Smith in the pecking order for a central defensive berth.
Taft signed for League Two Burton Albion on a two-year contract on 30 May 2014. He made his debut for the club in a 1–0 away win over Oxford United. On 3 January 2015, Taft scored the first goal of his professional career with a half volley from 12 yards in Burton's 1–0 home victory against promotion rivals Shresbury Town. Shrewsbury manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink praised Taft saying "George took his goal very well." He dedicated his goal to Richard Mayne, a victim who lost his life in MH17.
At international level, Taft represented England at under-18 level one time and scored in his only game against Poland on 16 November 2010. He made his debut for the under-19 team against Germany on 9 February 2011, and earned a total of five caps at this level. He was named in the under-20 squad for the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup but did not make any appearances.
Style of play
Though primarily a centre-back, Taft can also play as a left-back. After signing for Burton Albion, manager Gary Rowett praised him for his height. After being promoted from the junior to the senior team of Leicester City, manager Sven-Göran Eriksson said "This is great news. They are very talented young footballers and we have the belief that they will progress." During his loan spell with Kettering Town, he was both played as a centre-back and a left-back.
- As of match played 21 March 2015.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Kettering Town (loan)||2011–12||Conference Premier||14||0||—||—||—||14||0|
|Karlstad BK (loan)||2012||Division 1 Södra||12||0||—||—||—||12||0|
|York City (loan)||2013–14||League Two||3||0||—||—||—||3||0|
|Burton Albion||2014–15||League Two||27||1||0||0||3||0||1[a]||0||31||1|
- Appearance in Football League Trophy
- "Professional retain list & free transfers 2012/13" (PDF). The Football League. 18 May 2013. p. 19. Archived from the original on 2 August 2014.
- "G. Taft". Soccerway. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
- "Deals for Leicester youngsters Adam Smith & George Taft". BBC Sport. 17 March 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
- "Results/matches: 2011/12". Soccerbase. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
- "Leicester 4–0 Nott'm Forest". BBC Sport. 17 January 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
- "Kettering Town extend loan for Leicester's George Taft". BBC Sport. 16 September 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
- "Kettering Town sign ex-Lincoln defender Moses Swaibu". BBC Sport. 27 October 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
- "Swedish side take on Leicester City youngster George Taft". Leicester Mercury. 24 March 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
- "York City sign Leicester City defender George Taft on loan". BBC Sport. 29 August 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
- "Games played by George Taft in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
- Flett, Dave (23 September 2013). "Relieved York City manager Nigel Worthington hails wide rot-stoppers". The Press (York). Retrieved 23 September 2013.
- "Leicester City Retained List 2014/15". Leicester City F.C. 9 May 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
- "George Taft: Burton Albion sign defender as Hussey exits". BBC Sport. 30 May 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
- "Games played by George Taft in 2014/2015". Soccerbase. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
- "Burton 1–0 Shrewsbury". BBC Sport. 3 January 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
- "Taft wins Hasselbaink praise". Sky Sports. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
- "Footballer George Taft dedicates his first ever goal to MH17 plane crash victim Richard Mayne". Licester Mercury. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
- "George Taft". The Football Association. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
- "World Cup squad announced". The Football Association. 29 June 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
- "Burton Albion sign George Taft". The Football League. 30 May 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
- "Squad stats: 2011/12". Soccerbase. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to George Taft.|