STRIKER Gareth Taylor will always be indebted to Dean Saunders for letting him take his first steps on the coaching ladder.
The 38-year-old former Wales international, waiting to discover if he will be offered a new contract by Saunders, hopes to continue playing for Wrexham but is ready to embark on a career as a coach if a deal does not materialise.
Since joining Wrexham in the summer of 2009, Taylor has also been involved in the coaching side of the game and taken charge of Wrexham’s reserve team on numerous occasions.
And Taylor, who has completed the first part of his coaching A licence with the FA of Wales, which he described as “pretty intense”, thanked Saunders for giving him the chance to experience coaching at first hand.
“I’ve had a great time at Wrexham and I can never thank Dean enough if nothing else comes up here,” he said.
“Dean has been fantastic and has given me a great opportunity to get into coaching and take the reserves which has been invaluable.
“When you move into coaching and go for your badges, you don’t always have that experience and then you get thrown in at the deep-end.
“But I have been able to mix the coaching with playing and it has been a great experience for me.
“If that is it at Wrexham, I will move on. But I want to stay in the game, either coaching or in a managerial capacity.”
But the much-travelled Taylor still harbours hopes of continuing his playing career with Wrexham.
Although Andy Mangan and Marc Williams have left the club for Fleetwood Town and Kidderminster Harriers respectively, Saunders has bolstered his attacking options by signing Jake Speight and Danny Wright.
Taylor, who scored 15 goals in 63 appearances for Wrexham, understands Saunders is working on a reduced budget but reiterated his desire to stay at The Racecourse – either as a player or a coach.
“Dean said to leave it with him like we did this time last year and I imagine we will speak before the end of the month or in July,” said Taylor.
“I’m hoping we can sort something out but I know he has got to fit everything into a budget.
“I did not play as much of a part last season and Dean has brought in a couple of strikers but I think the move into coaching is more than possible.
“Whether I can do that and Dean can fit it into his budget we will have to see.
“But Dean does a lot of the coaching and there is also Brian Carey, so he might prefer to spend the money on another player instead.
“I suppose it depends on how bad he wants to keep me.”
Eager to help Wrexham in their quest to win promotion back to the Football League after losing in the play-off semi-finals last season, Taylor added: “There is a bit of unfinished business, but hopefully Wrexham will go one better next season.”
Admitting he is unlikely to play for another club and would probably hang up his boosts if he is not offered a new contract by Saunders, Taylor said: “I have had a couple of offers from Welsh Premier League clubs and one in our division, but if I don’t continue playing at Wrexham, I don’t think I will play anywhere else.
“If there’s not going to be a coaching or playing role at Wrexham, I will look to move into coaching elsewhere.
“Although you never say never, if there is nothing available at Wrexham I don’t think I will play anywhere else.”