George Taft

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George Taft
George Taft 07-09-2013 1.jpg
Taft playing for York City in 2013
Personal information
Full name George William Taft[1]
Date of birth (1993-07-29) 29 July 1993 (age 23)[2]
Place of birth Leicester, England
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)[2]
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Mansfield Town
Youth career
0000–2011 Leicester City
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2011–2014 Leicester City 0 (0)
2011 Kettering Town (loan) 14 (0)
2012 Karlstad BK (loan) 12 (0)
2013 York City (loan) 3 (0)
2014–2016 Burton Albion 30 (1)
2015 Cambridge United (loan) 11 (1)
2016– Mansfield Town 0 (0)
National team
2010 England U18 1 (1)
2011 England U19 5 (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 08:00 25 October 2015 (UTC).


George William Taft (born 29 July 1993) is an English professional footballer who plays as a defender for League Two club Mansfield Town.

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.

Club career[edit]

Leicester City[edit]

Born in Leicester, Leicestershire,[2] Taft started his career at Leicester City where he is a product of their youth academy.[3] He signed a professional contract with Leicester on 17 March 2011, tying him to the club until the summer of 2013.[3] 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.[4] In the replay also he was an unused substitute, when Leicester won 4–0.[5]

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.[6] He returned to Leicester in October 2011 having completed the loan with 14 appearances for Kettering.[2][7]

Taft went on loan to Swedish club Karlstad BK in Division 1 Södra in March 2012,[8] where he made 12 appearances.[2] In July 2012, Taft made a return back to Leicester City.[9] At the end of the 2012-13 season, Taft signed a one-year contract extension with Leicester City.[10]

On 29 August 2013, Taft joined League Two club York City on a one-month loan,[11] and made his debut two days later in the team's 2–1 away defeat at Exeter City.[12] Having made three appearances for York,[12] 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.[13]

Taft was released by Leicester on 9 May 2014, following the club's promotion to the Premier League for the 2014–15 season.[14]

Burton Albion[edit]

Taft signed for League Two Burton Albion on a two-year contract on 30 May 2014.[15]

He made his debut for the club, playing as a center-back, in a 1–0 away win over Oxford United.[16] From that on in the first half of the season, Taft was in the regular first team until he tore his hamstring during a match which Burton Albion lost 4-3 to Carlisle United, which kept him out for six and eight weeks.[17] Taft eventually made his return on 17 November 2014, where he came on as a substitute for Stuart Beavon in the last minutes, in a 3-2 win over Wycombe Wanderers. Coincidentally, it was also first game that Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink took charge in this game.[18]

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 Shrewsbury Town.[19] Albion manager Hasselbaink praised Taft saying "George took his goal very well."[20] He dedicated his goal to Richard Mayne, a victim who lost his life in MH17.[21] Taft went on to help the club get promoted to earn promotion to League One for the first time in their history.[22]

In his first season at Burton Albion, Taft made thirty-four appearance for the club and scored once.[23] At the club's award ceremony, Taft was named the club's player in the community.[24]

Cambridge United[edit]

On 31 July 2015, Taft joined Cambridge United on a six-month loan.[25] He returned to Burton in October 2015 after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in a league match against Yeovil Town.[26]

Mansfield Town[edit]

Taft joined Mansfield Town on a free transfer in May 2016.[27]

International career[edit]

At international level, Taft represented England at under-18 level one time and scored in his only game against Poland on 16 November 2010.[28] 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.[28] He was named in the under-20 squad for the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup but did not make any appearances.[28][29]

Style of play[edit]

Though primarily a centre-back, Taft can also play as a left-back.[30] After signing for Burton Albion, manager Gary Rowett praised him for his height.[30] 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."[3] During his loan spell with Kettering Town, he was both played as a centre-back and a left-back.[6]

Career statistics[edit]

As of match played 3 October 2015.
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Leicester City 2011–12[31] Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Kettering Town (loan) 2011–12[2] Conference Premier 14 0 14 0
Karlstad BK (loan) 2012[2] Division 1 Södra 12 0 12 0
York City (loan) 2013–14[12] League Two 3 0 3 0
Burton Albion 2014–15[23] League Two 30 1 0 0 3 0 1[a] 0 34 1
Cambridge United (loan) 2015–16[32] League Two 7 1 0 0 1 0 1[a] 0 9 1
Career total 66 2 0 0 4 0 2 0 72 2
  1. ^ a b Appearance in Football League Trophy

Honours[edit]

Burton Albion

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Professional retain list & free transfers 2012/13" (PDF). The Football League. 18 May 2013. p. 19. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "G. Taft". Soccerway. Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c "Deals for Leicester youngsters Adam Smith & George Taft". BBC Sport. 17 March 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "Results/matches: 2011/12". Soccerbase. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Leicester 4–0 Nott'm Forest". BBC Sport. 17 January 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Kettering Town extend loan for Leicester's George Taft". BBC Sport. 16 September 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "Kettering Town sign ex-Lincoln defender Moses Swaibu". BBC Sport. 27 October 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  8. ^ "Swedish side take on Leicester City youngster George Taft". Leicester Mercury. 24 March 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  9. ^ "Thank you George Taft!" (in Swedish). Karlstad BK website. 10 July 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  10. ^ "Youngsters Rewarded For Progress". Leicester City F.C. 1 May 2013. Archived from the original on 4 May 2015. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  11. ^ "York City sign Leicester City defender George Taft on loan". BBC Sport. 29 August 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c "Games played by George Taft in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  13. ^ Flett, Dave (23 September 2013). "Relieved York City manager Nigel Worthington hails wide rot-stoppers". The Press. York. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  14. ^ "Leicester City Retained List 2014/15". Leicester City F.C. 9 May 2014. Archived from the original on 4 May 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  15. ^ "George Taft: Burton Albion sign defender as Hussey exits". BBC Sport. 30 May 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  16. ^ "Oxford United 0 - 1 Burton Albion". BBC Sport. 9 August 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  17. ^ "Taft suffers injury blow". Sky Sports. 22 October 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  18. ^ "Wycombe Wanderers 1 - 3 Burton Albion". BBC Sport. 17 November 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  19. ^ "Burton Albion 1–0 Shrewsbury Town". BBC Sport. 3 January 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  20. ^ "Taft wins Hasselbaink praise". Sky Sports. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  21. ^ "Footballer George Taft dedicates his first ever goal to MH17 plane crash victim Richard Mayne". Licester Mercury. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  22. ^ "Morecambe 1-2 Burton". BBC Sport. 18 April 2015. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  23. ^ a b "Games played by George Taft in 2014/2015". Soccerbase. Retrieved 16 May 2015. 
  24. ^ "Burton Albion awards handed out". Burton Mail. 30 April 2015. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  25. ^ "U'S AGREE SIX MONTH LOAN FOR TAFT". Cambridge United. 31 July 2015. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 
  26. ^ "George Taft has unfortunately torn his ACL and returns to Burton to complete his recovery". Twitter. 29 October 2015. Retrieved 29 October 2015. 
  27. ^ "Defender George Taft joins Mansfield from Burton on a free transfer". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 May 2016. 
  28. ^ a b c "George Taft". The Football Association. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  29. ^ "World Cup squad announced". The Football Association. 29 June 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  30. ^ a b "Burton Albion sign George Taft". The Football League. 30 May 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  31. ^ "Squad stats: 2011/12". Soccerbase. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  32. ^ "Games played by George Taft in 2015/2016". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 

External links[edit]