Taggart aiming high with Fulham future on the line

Former A-League Golden Boot winner Adam Taggart admits he doesn’t know where his immediate club future lies, as he heads into combat with the Olyroos this month with Rio 2016 shimmering on the horizon.

Taggart

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The 22 year-old Fulham striker has yet to make his senior debut after 17 months in west London, with injuries and ill fortune taking their toll.

But fresh back from a loan spell with Scottish Premiership strugglers Dundee United, Taggart has recovered his fitness and will be looking to attract the attention of new Cottagers manager Slavisa Jokanovic, from far away Doha this month, as he hunts the goals which could clinch Olympic Games qualification for Australia at the AFC Under-23 Championship.

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Taggart has trained briefly under the man who led Watford to the English Premier League last season only to quit as contract talks broke down.

And while he knows a starring role for his country could aid his cause at Craven Cottage, he also realises he could just as easily exit the club during the January window.

Newcastle Jets, for whom he scored 16 times two seasons ago, have already been rebuffed in their bid to bring him back to the Hunter and Perth Glory are also keen to bring the Western Australian back to the club where it all began.

The gun forward, who is contracted until the end of next season, doesn’t pretend to know where his immediate future lies and said “The main thing for me is to get back to playing regular first team football.

“You never know what’s going to happen this month. Fulham have a new gaffer in and there may be an opportunity there but I really can’t say how things will go.

"I’ve had a few days training under him, so we will see.”

Asked if the A-League was a potential option, he replied: “Everything is an option. You can’t rule anything out, especially the situation I am in.

“But my long-term goal is to be playing regularly in Europe and I still think I have something to offer, whether that’s in England or somewhere else.

“My heart still lies in having a career in Europe and I will take the next few weeks away with the Olyroos and see what comes up, and what Fulham’s thoughts are.”

With Brazil beckoning, the Olyroos' opening Group D game is against the United Arab Emirates, before clashes with Vietnam (17 January) and Jordan (20 January) with the top two teams progressing to the quarter-finals.

The highest placed three nations will be on their way to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

“With Brazil the prize, it makes it a little bit more special,” said Taggart, who knows all about football crazy nation after making two appearances for the Socceroos at last year’s FIFA World Cup finals.

“I know how much they love the game there, and it would be a great experience for everybody if we make it.

“We have a strong squad … we have been together a long time going through the system together and we're a tight group of players.

“We feel as if we should achieve something. The last couple of campaigns haven’t been great for the previous Olyroos and we're hoping we can do something special.

“But we all know how tough these qualifiers are, and we're not getting too far ahead of ourselves.”

Taggart is shaping as a major goal threat along with Brisbane Roar’s Jamie Maclaren in Doha, as he chases the match sharpness which began to return during his three-month loan at Tannadice.

The 22 year-old is well on the way to putting over a year of injury setbacks far behind him and said “It’s hard enough coming to a big club like Fulham at the best if times and when you are out for 12 months it’s difficult.

“But now I am feeling in my best shape for a long time, and I am confident and hungry."


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4 min read
Published 5 January 2016 at 9:07am
By David Lewis