Wanderers defender not giving up on goal
FOOTBALL: After three hip operations Nikolas Taylor could be forgiven for pulling back on his sporting dreams, but the Wanderers defender hasn’t given up yet.
The 22-year-old made his inspiring return to the game with the Sunshine Coast outfit earlier this season following a rollercoaster four years, physically and mentally off field.
In 2017, at the age of 19, Taylor underwent arthroscopic hip surgery for a labral tear on his left side before again entering hospital last year for a similar operation on both hips.
“I went over and played in Germany for a year in the under-19 Bundesliga for Fortuna Köln and that was a cool experience but that’s kind of where it all started for me with my hips and I had to return home,” Taylor said.
“I didn’t really know what the problem was (at the time) so I did physio work and when I got home from Germany I went to Newcastle Jets in their under-23 youth team and was there for a year and again my hips were causing me trouble but I didn’t think I needed surgery at that stage.
“When I came home from Newcastle it kind of all unravelled.”
The Caloundra talent had recovered from his latest surgery and was just starting to build momentum with the Buderim-based Wanderers this year when the coronavirus pandemic halted his aspirations.
“It’s frustrating because I was just slowly starting to get back into it and getting my durability up and my match fitness back,” Taylor said of the state league suspension.
But, while it’s been a rough few years with hip issues and now the coronavirus shutdown it hasn’t dampened any desires of one day entering the professional ranks of the sport.
“Throughout that journey for me it’s been really tough mentally overcoming the struggles of not playing,” he said.
“(But) It’s been my dream to play professional football and it still is and I’m trying to get back on the saddle with the Wanderers.
“I feel like it’s (off field issues) almost a test to see how bad I want it, that’s how I see it now.
“I’m pretty much gunning it and just going for it now and if they (hips) don’t hold up I’ll have to give football up, but for now I’m on the right track and will just keep pushing forward.”
He was hopeful the National Premier Leagues Queensland season could return to the field later this year.
In the meantime he was making sure to maintain fitness.
I’m still doing my runs and (coach) Paul Arnison is trying to keep pushing us, we (Wanderers) have downloaded the Strava fitness app so we’re all keeping fit off that.”