Taylor Richards on loan from Doncaster, Donuts and Pogba – The Athletic

Taylor Richards had dinner with Paul Pogba and trained with the stars of Manchester City. Now the Brighton & Hove Albion prospect is buying Dunkin ‘Donuts for his Doncaster Rovers teammates and finding out all about the appetite it takes to reach the top.

He had picked up the treats to celebrate his 20th birthday in early December. Richards’ career continues to develop, but this is a pivotal time in his quest to play for Brighton in the Premier League.

During a season-long loan from League One, he learns there is more to the game than fancy footwork and penalties from Panenka as he struggles to land a new contract. His current contract expires next summer.

“This loan has helped me a lot to meet the demands of first-team football,” Richards told The Athletic. “When I was playing in the Under 23s, a lot of my talent and what I could do with the ball helped me get over that.

“Now that I’m here at Doncaster there is so much that I had to improve and I’m grateful to the manager and the coaches for helping me. If I were to go straight to Brighton in the Premier League and still have these problems, that would be a huge problem.

“I’m grateful now that I came here to see what I need to do off the pitch – focus, eat well. On the pitch, your ability on the ball is a long way from what needs to be done off the ball, so running, tackling, defensive awareness… they’re all an integral part of the game.

“You are rarely on the ball and you have to focus as much on it as on this one.”

Richards’ natural talent has never been in doubt. The app has been the question mark, but the attacking midfielder has bowed to third tier demands at Doncaster under the guidance of former West Bromwich Albion manager Darren Moore.

“It’s hard,” he said.

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