Caleb Taylor on St. George's Park visit & hopes for 2023/24

Caleb Taylor in pre-season training at St. George's Park

Young Baggies defender Caleb Taylor is confident the “mental resilience” learned out on loan at Cheltenham Town last season makes him a much better player heading into the 2023/24 campaign. 

The towering 20-year-old made 49 appearances for the Robins last year and won the club’s Young Player of the Season award, helping them secure a third successive term in English football’s third tier.

Taylor returned to Albion in the summer and has been part of Carlos Corberán’s senior squad during the opening few weeks of pre-season.

And the academy graduate, who has played three times for West Bromwich Albion’s first team, says he’s desperate to force his way into the boss’ plans for the upcoming term.

Caleb said: “Pre-season for me on a personal note has been going really well. 

“I feel fit and I feel sharp. I did quite a lot of work over the summer to make sure I came back in feeling as fit as possible.

“I feel good, and in training I’m really pushing myself.

“That year at Cheltenham has helped me gain a lot of experience.

“Playing a lot of games in League One, which is a very good league, has helped me because I’ve been playing alongside and against a number of players who have played an awful lot of senior games.

“Watching them and learning from them has helped me learn the trade a bit more and I’m hopeful that I can take that experience into this season.

“The biggest thing I learned while away from the club was how important having a mental resilience was. I didn’t realise just how long the season is and just how tough it is playing so many games. 

“Physically, it’s tough, but mentally, you’ve got to be so consistent and prepare yourself in exactly the same way for every single game. 

“You’ve also got to deal much better with the lows because there are a lot more of them.

“My big hope is to play as many games as I can because I just love playing games. I’d love to play for West Bromwich Albion this season and I’m going to be doing everything I can to do that. 

“I’ve been here since U10s age which is a long time and I’ve come up through the academy. I’ve always looked at the lads playing at The Hawthorns and thought that’s all I want to do.”

The Baggies are training and staying at St. George’s Park, the home of the England national teams, this week. 

Taylor has been really impressed by the facilities on offer at the FA’s base in Burton and says the time spent there is a huge opportunity for the players to strengthen bonds and relationships ahead of the Sky Bet Championship campaign.

He said: “It’s an amazing place. The facilities are absolutely incredible and the pitches are all really good.

“It’s a great place to train and the rooms we are staying in are really comfortable too. There are plenty of areas we can go to to relax that have things like darts boards, pool tables and games consoles. 

“There’s so much to do here so I definitely won’t be bored.

“My room-mate is Tom Fellows which is really good because I’ve known Tom for ages and we’re really comfortable around each other. 

“It’s certainly a nice place to stay and train and I’m sure we’ll all find it a very beneficial week.

“It’s obviously been a long time since I was with all the lads here at Albion having been out on loan at Cheltenham last season, so I’ve been really looking forward to this training camp in particular.

“A change of scenery is very important in my opinion because it brings all of the lads together. You’re away from home and you’re spending all of your time with each other, which can only help build togetherness.

“There will be some tough periods through the season, which is normal for any team. A week like this where we’re away from home and building stronger relationships is only going to help us.”

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