Published: 05:00, 15 June 2022
| Updated: 09:04, 15 June 2022
New Margate defender Taylor Fisher insists he is ready for Isthmian Premier football having rediscovered his love for the game.
He was named the Brickies’ supporters’ player-of-the-year, manager’s player-of-the-year and players’ player-of-the-year but conceded he would have found it difficult to stay with the Woodstock club after boss Darren Blackburn was sacked last month despite leading Sittingbourne to 10th place.
Fisher had played for Dartford’s first-team early in his career but, at the age of 22, is only now completing his first full season of first-team football after the Covid pandemic.
When asked if he was ready to play at Step 3, he said: “Definitely.
"I feel like I was probably ready a few seasons back for the step up, it was just getting the chance to start playing again.
“To be honest, when I went to Sittingbourne, I think I kind of found my love for the game again after not playing for ages. Under Darren, he just gave me the freedom to play every week.
“A lot of people don’t really have trust in younger players that much so it was nice that Darren threw me. I did all right most of the season but he was always trying to help me.
“It was quite nice to be at a club who were doing everything they could for you.
“I had quite a few offers. Since Darren left, it was quite hard to stay at the club [Sittingbourne] so, when a club higher up comes in for you, that’s a bit of a reward for how well you have done, really.
“That’s how I took it. I want to step up and prove myself again.”
Margate manager Andy Drury spoke to Taylor’s dad Dave - the legendary striker having been a former team-mate of Drury’s at Sittingbourne - prior to signing Fisher junior.
Fisher revealed close friends and family helped encourage him to make the switch.
“My dad played with him quite a long time back and was probably a very different player to what I am,” said Fisher, who started his career as a midfielder and scored for the Darts in an FA Trophy defeat to Eastbourne Borough in 2019.
“But a lot of family and close friends around me said ‘Definitely take the step up’.
“When I was playing under-18s, I was at Dartford. I played a few [first-team] games but I was never able to get a run in the side.
“The best thing for me was to go down a few levels and get a full season under my belt. Then Covid, obviously, happened and I think last season was probably my first full season in men’s football because of everything that’s gone on!”
Fisher also reacted to being crowned KentOnline’s star Player of the Year. He made the Team of the Year and then won the vote for star player, with 26% of the vote.
He said: “I only saw a few seasons ago that there was the KentOnline team-of-the-week and Team of the Year. Because I was picking up a few during the season [places in team-of-the-week], I thought ‘It would be nice to get in Team of the Year’ as another bit of recognition.
“So it was quite good to get into it and then win the vote as well.
“It’s quite a big thing for me, thanks to everyone that voted for me.”
Margate will now play Sittingbourne on August 6 and have arranged a home friendly with Faversham on July 12, with proceeds going to the club’s Community Trust.
Margate this week announced works to install new changing rooms and a kit room are now set to begin, with the new facilities expected to be fully operational at Hartsdown Park in five months' time.