By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
Ryan Taylor was a surprise inclusion in the Newcastle United Under-21 party which travelled to Blackburn Rovers on Monday night.
The popular Scouser was not making his comeback from nearly two years sidelined by injury, however, but instead lending a hand in the next steps towards his coaching badges.
Taylor has not kicked a ball in anger since August 2012, when he tore his cruciate ligament against Atromitos in the Europa League, and cruelly suffered the same injury almost a year ago just as he was set for a return to action.
As well as his lengthy rehabilitation programme, this latest lay-off has seen the defender look towards the future and the possibility of coaching.
That has seen him take a keen interest in the Club's Academy and under-21 sides, and the Magpies' Football Development Manager Peter Beardsley expects Taylor's presence in the dugout to be a regular thing for the next few months.
"I would think you will see him more and more (between now and the end of the season).
"He loves it, he's a big help to us, he plays the game now and so can give the kids his knowledge.
"Ryan has a brilliant attitude and it's a pleasure to have him with us."