Nottingham Forest striker Dale Taylor made his debut for Northern Ireland on Friday night. He came on as a substitute for the final 15 minutes as Lithuania were defeated 1-0 at Windsor Park. After the game, David Johnson and Gary Brazil reacted on Twitter.
Taylor, 17, is yet to feature in the Forest first team. He signed for the club from Linfield in the summer of 2020 and has been making waves with the under-18 and under-23 ranks.
In December he signed his first professional contract with Forest and has now stepped up to play international football.
Taylor will hope for more action when Northern Ireland play Italy tomorrow at Windsor Park. On Friday he replaced Josh Magennis and it’ll be interesting to see whether Ian Baraclough cuts him loose against the European Champions.
The Reds academy talent made a name for himself in Northern Ireland. He was labelled ‘exceptional’ by Linfield boss David Healy after scoring for the first team at the age of just 15.
Now he has his sights firmly set on Healy’s record haul of international goals. First, he must try and establish himself in a first-team somewhere and perhaps a loan move could prove ideal.
What have Johnson and Brazil said about Forest gem Taylor?
Johnson is all too familiar with that proud moment as a dad when your son steps up to play international football. Brennan did it with Wales and Johnson senior has sent a message to Taylor’s family.
Brazil is very much a popular figure behind the scenes as the spearhead of the Forest academy. He has been raving about Taylor too and deserves immense credit for nurturing him.
Taylor will aim to continue on an upward curve. If he does, supporters might just see him knocking on the door of Steve Cooper’s squad between now and the end of the season.