CONCORD Rangers striker Lewis Taaffe says his upcoming trial at Bristol Rovers is his “last chance” to make it as a professional footballer.
The influential Taaffe, who joined the Beachboys from Skrill North side Histon, has secured a two-week trial at the recently relegated Pirates at the end of June after some impressive performances at the Aspect Arena.
The 22-year-old played an important role in the closing weeks of the season and scored vital goals against Weston-Super-Mare, Farnborough and Gosport Borough.
However, Taaffe says he owes a great deal to Concord boss Danny Cowley and has agreed, in principle, to stay at the Skrill South club if the trial is unsuccessful.
“This is a great chance for me,” said Taaffe. “I have had a good season and it was nice to play between 40 and 50 games and score around 15 times.
“Bristol Rovers is a good chance for me and it could well be the last chance I get. I am 22 now and need to be thinking about taking the next now or it may not come around again.”
Taaffe joined Histon as a scholar after he was released by League One side Leyton Orient but said joining Concord wasn’t a difficult decision.
“I fancied a change and I could see Concord were a team on the up, as we have proved this season.
This is the first season Taaffe has had a part-time job alongside his playing duties – he works as a 4x4 driver – and Taaffe says he has become more grounded.
He added he would be pleased to stay on at Concord should the Bristol Rovers trial fail to lead to a professional contract.
“My only vision is to go up. I don’t want to move sideways anymore so I am looking at the Conference National and Bristol Rovers will be favourites in that division. Concord is a club going places so I would be pleased to stay.”
Boss Cowley said: “Lewis is a young and ambitious player and that is the sort we want at this club. I would never stop my players from making the step up so we will have to wait and see what happens.”