WALES defender Neil Taylor would love to see more Asian players in professional football.

The Aston Villa left back, who kicked off his career at Wrexham (below) where he became one of the club’s youngest ever captains, is backing a new scheme brought in by the Professional Footballers’ Association to attract and mentor young Asian players.

SWT070707a Wrexham vs Liverpool played at The Racecourse on the 7th July 2007 Liverpool Neil Taylor

SWT070707a Wrexham vs Liverpool played at The Racecourse on the 7th July 2007 Liverpool Neil Taylor

Taylor, whose mother was born in Kolkata in India, was brought up in Ruthin where he admits he was in the minority out on the football fields.

“I don’t think I came across many Asian players,” said Taylor, who was born in St Asaph.

“Possibly some parts of the country had more than others but, in general, not many at all.

“I think that’s been the theme for many years and this is why we are trying to combat that now and try and build those numbers.”

But the 32-year-old believes that there is less racism in British football than there used to be despite a number of recent high profile cases.

“Society is changing,” Taylor told the Today Programme on Radio Four.

“We are at the point now where everybody is united in the fact that if it happens, it’s being reported, people are being found and we’re getting to the root of the problems.

“As a society, we are starting to realise that you can’t get away with what you say these days.

“You’ve got to be careful and I think that racial prejudice is starting to get out of the game.

“We’ve seen it with ‘Black Lives Matter’ and it’s great what is happening. Society is changing”.

Taylor is only too happy to show support for the PFA’s ‘Asian Inclusion Mentoring Scheme.’

“For Asians it’s about changing the narrative and what we want to do with the PFA is to be that focal point for people to be able to talk to - to talk to academy lads and for those lads to talk to players at under-10s and under-11s,” added Taylor, who has also played in the Premier League for Swansea.

Only eight players from Asian backgrounds made first-team appearances across the 92 clubs in England’s top four divisions last season and Taylor, whose career highlight was scoring against Russia in Wales’ tremendous run to the Euro 2016 semi-finals, would like to see more youngsters playing the grassroots game.

“My lad plays football at under-sevens and I just want to see more Asian players,” he said.

“I live in Birmingham which has an affluent Asian community and I still don’t think I see as many Asian kids as I would like playing football. It’s about having them involved in all levels of football”.