A new episode of the Bred a Blue podcast has arrived as former player turned coach, Paul Tait features.
Tait is the Head Coach of Everton Under-18s and he knows exactly what’s required of the young players in his charge because he followed the same process.
He was at Everton as a boy and played regularly for the youth teams and the reserves, including a game at Anfield in front of 20,000 fans, before being released in 1994 by Mike Walker.
In our latest episode Tait talks about his Everton upbringing and the pain of being told at 18 that he didn’t have a future at the club.
“I got into the first team squad a couple of times when Howard Kendall was the manager,” he recalls. “And then when Mike Walker came in there were rumours that I’d get a chance because I was scoring goals for the reserves, but it never happened unfortunately.”
Walker had operated with some success at Norwich City using two big strikers, so Tait could be forgiven for thinking he would finally get a first-team breakthrough.
“He got me in and I didn’t know which way it was going to go, but I thought I might sneak another contract because I was scoring goals. But he told me that he was going to get a lot of money to buy strikers and that I wouldn’t be in his plans.”
And that was it as far as Everton were concerned but Tait showed commendable determination and forged a good career for himself at clubs like Crewe Alexandra, Bristol Rovers and Rochdale…as well as several stints at non-league level, where he says that young centre-forwards had to grow-up very quickly!
His football journey has now turned full circle and he is playing a pivotal role in the development of young footballers at Everton at USM Finch Farm.