"It was a good decision in the end!" - Defender Golden's journey from South Carolina to Halifax

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Tylor Golden's parents made a life-changing decision in 2008 which played a huge part in their son becoming a professional footballer.

Golden's journey to professional football began on the east coast of America, where his talent was spotted at an early age.

After Golden's football coach in South Carolina advised them a move back to England would help Tylor and his brother to pursue their dreams, the family relocated to Ipswich.

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Golden grew up in South Carolina, playing for Coast FA, who he credits for instilling not only a love of the game in him but also the drive and determination to make it as a pro.

Tylor Golden. Photo: Marcus BranstonTylor Golden. Photo: Marcus Branston
Tylor Golden. Photo: Marcus Branston

"It wasn't as big over there as it is now, it's grown massively since I've moved back over," Golden said.

"I lived there until I was about nine or ten and moved over here, partly because of football and partly because my mum's English, so we had family over here.

"My parents wanted to give me the best shot of making it, and this was the better place to be with all the academies over here.

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"One of my coaches over there spoke to my parents and asked my parents if they'd consider moving over for that opportunity, and luckily they agreed.

"It was a good decision in the end!"

Golden was with Ipswich Town's academy for a year before the family moved to Manchester, where he joined Manchester City.

He then joined Rochdale for a couple of years and had two more years at Blackburn Rovers before joining Wigan Athletic, where he made his pro debut in the Football League Trophy.

"Some of those were my decision and some were the clubs' decision, obviously being a young lad coming over from America, I didn't know the English academy system," he said.

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"If I'm honest it took me a while to get used to it, and turning the enjoyment I'd had playing the game into hard work.

"But it all helped me in adapting to new surroundings."

Golden got more first-team exposure at Salford, where he made a dozen appearances in the 2020-21 season and six more last season, which he says helped his development.

"I knew myself I was ready, I felt like I was ready at Wigan, but it's just getting that opportunity to show it," he said.

"Once I got that, I had belief in myself I was going to take it.

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"Salford was my main breakthrough and it was a good experience because it gave me bad experiences and good experiences.

"So I'm glad I had that at an early age so I know how to adapt to whatever situations I come into."

But Golden will be hoping for a far more regular starting role at Halifax.

"The manager gave me a couple of calls and we had some really good conversations over the phone," the 22-yea-old said of his move to The Shay.

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"Everything he spoke to me about was everything that attracted me to the club, was what I needed and what I wanted to aspire to.

"Our goals were the same, we had things in common so it really helped make the decision how it was, and allowed me to think this was the place for me.

"We've got similar ambitions, obviously we want to get the club back where it belongs, in the Football League, and I want to keep developing as a player and as a person.

"I'm still only 22 but it's time to have that breakthrough season now.

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"As a 22-year-old you're still learning every day, you're not the finished article at 22.

"The manager helped me understand how I can develop here and really push onto the next level."

Golden started off as a goalkeeper, then played as a striker before eventually moving to right-back, which he says is a role that suits him perfectly.

"I think the modern full-back probably does need to be as good attacking as you are defending," he said.

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"I love defending and I love attacking, I think I'm equal on both.

"I love getting forward and I love defending. That was one of the main reasons I wanted to be a defender, because I love that feeling of making that last-ditch tackle or block, or just getting the better of an attacker one v one.

"Going forward I like to set-up opportunities, so it's the perfect role for me."