Wanderers are delighted to confirm the appointment of former Championship defender and AFC Fylde assistant manager Andy Taylor as their new B Team Head Coach.
Taylor replaces Matty Craddock following Craddock’s elevation to First Team Coach earlier this season and will lead the B Team with Andrew Tutte continuing as his assistant.
The 37-year-old – who played more than 350 games in a career which included spells with Sheffield United, Blackpool, Walsall and Tranmere Rovers – was also in the running to join the Whites’ senior coaching staff following the departure of Sam Hird in October.
He has remained on Wanderers’ radar since and with an impressive coaching CV and strong background in player development is seen as the ideal fit for the key role as Head Coach of the B Team.
Wanderers’ Sporting Director, Chris Markham, said: “Andy has all the credentials we were looking for and is an important appointment at this stage of the B Team project.
“Andy went a long way in the process we had in place when Matty was appointed and was someone who, if he didn't join the first-team set-up at that point, we quickly identified as a really good option for the B Team.
“His approach and background shows a lot of tactical detail which is important for the way we want to play and he’s the ideal type of person to be able to impart that to the young players to continue their development.
“We wanted someone who is modern in their approach and who will build on the good work that goes on in the B Team office, in terms of coaching, analysis and sport science.
“He’s the right personality to fit in. He was passionate in his interview about player development and helping younger players, which we have been aware of first-hand from the positive feedback we’ve had from Nelson Khumbeni and Max Conway from their time working under him.
“Andy’s also someone who will work closely with Tutty, which was also important to us in furthering the impressive progress and development he has shown since joining the coaching staff as we look to create a pathway for both players and staff.
“There's been a lot of progress within the B Team, through the likes of Luke Matheson’s elevation to the first-team squad, the number of players out on loan at good levels and some of the results we’ve had this season against Category 1 Academy teams, which shows what a key project it is for us.
“It’s less than two years in, but it’s trending in the right way and this is another key appointment to continue that.”
Preston-based Taylor – a UEFA ‘A’ licensed coach – began his coaching career with Fylde after injury ended his playing career with the Coasters in 2020.
He graduated to the role of assistant head coach ahead of the 2022/23 season and played a key role in Fylde’s National League North title success as they returned to the National League this season.
Taylor has worked recently with Wanderers’ youngsters Conway and Khumbeni during successful loan spells at Mill Farm for the pair and starts his new role with Wanderers today (Friday).
Whites’ manager Ian Evatt said: “’Tayls’ went a long way in the first-team recruitment process and really caught our eyes with his ideas.
“We have done a lot of diligence on him and he’s an exciting young coach who I think will work really well with the B Team. It’s not just about playing talent, it’s about support staff and coaching talent as well to take this club forwards, and we think we’ve got a good one with ‘Tayls’.
“He wants to work with the players and has a modern methodology with some old-school values, which is kind of how we are as a club. When those two things come together you can achieve really good things. It’s a great project for him to work with and we look forward to how he evolves and progresses on his coaching journey too.”