Bolton defender planning for future with leadership course

Andy Taylor playing football

Instead of sitting on a beach relaxing, Bolton defender Andy Taylor has been using his free time this summer wisely, planning for his future.
Left back Taylor is taking a post graduate management degree at the University of Salford, putting a difficult season on the pitch behind him, and sorting out what he wants to do once his playing days are over.

He is enrolled on the MSc in Sports Directorship, organised by training company VSI and taught by Salford University at its MediaCityUK campus. The two year course is designed to prepare people with experience of sports at all levels to become leaders. Andy has just finished his first year.
He said: “It’s all about exploring different avenues. I have another year playing at Bolton, I’ll be 33 at the end of my current contract and I want to open as many possibilities as I can.

“The course is about being in a leadership position, whether that as a director or something similar. Hopefully it will stand me in good stead in what I choose to do
“We have been learning about management strategies and different tools you can use. I’m intrigued by the role of a sporting director and this has helped broaden my awareness of life after football

“The networking side of the course has been particularly useful. I’m speaking with people from all different backgrounds and different sports. Hopefully the course will set me up nicely.”

Among his colleagues on the course are cricketer Matthew Hoggard, gymnast Beth Tweddle and athlete Goldie Sayers.

On the season just finished Andy said: “After the last game the manager just came into the dressing room and told us to get off, there was no big end of season party. It was a tough season and we were exhausted at the end. But we stayed up and there is more optimism for the new season.”

Jonathan Lord, course leaders from the University of Salford Business School said: “Andy has shown great commitment to his studies, both when the season was on and over the summer. He has balanced the demands of the course well and as we start the second year I’m sure he will continue to do well.”

Tony Faulkner, of VSI, said: “Andy is just one of a number of professional athletes on our course. It will really help propel his post playing career, and will open doors for him.

“At VSI our vision is to deliver programmes at Executive level that enhance knowledge but critically lead to improved performance. We know what the sport industry needs and we know how this needs to look, feel and be delivered.”