Football triallists are made of stern stuff. They get one chance to make a first impression and, even when they excel, it's sometimes still not enough to seal a deal.

Take Josh Taylor for example. Back on July 15 he was hoping to catch the eye of Leyton Orient boss Steve Davis in a pre-season game at Harlow Town.

He did just that, scoring two goals in 45 minutes as the O’s won 6-1. It was the kind of performance any triallist would have been proud of.

But, the newly-appointed Davis was keen to recruit experienced players as he prepared his squad for the rigours of non-league football following last season's relegation from League Two and decided against taking a punt on the 22-year-old.

So, two-goal Taylor had to go for another trial elsewhere and try to make another decent first impression.

A week later he was as it again, only this time he turned out for Sutton United in a friendly at Havant and Waterlooville where came on as a 53rd minute substitute and scored the fifth goal in a 5-2 victory for the U's.

Taylor’s performance prompted United boss Paul Doswell to say this about him: "Josh made up my mind within 15 minutes of watching him play against Havant.

"He was highly recommended to us, and having seen him play for Orient and score two goals, we were surprised he wasn't offered a deal there.

“I'm fascinated to see him develop. He's a very different type of player, and at 22 has plenty of time to improve."

Orient’s loss has most definitely been Sutton’s gain.

The U's handed Taylor a two-year contract and his performances in their famous amber and chocolate colours have already piqued the interest of clubs at higher levels.

He recently spent two days with League One high fliers Wigan Athletic and this was soon followed by a trial at Championship side Birmingham City.

Taylor plays the game with bags of enthusiasm which is clearly matched by his ambition.

However, he has had to be patient, sitting on the bench for Sutton’s early matches including the season curtain-raiser, ironically against Leyton Orient, that saw the U’s defeat the O’s 2-0 in front of the BT Sports cameras.

Since then, Taylor has become a regular fixture in the starting line-up.

He’s made crucial contributions, linking well with his team-mates and setting up vital goals against Chester, Fylde and Aldershot, to name a few, as well as scoring his first competitive goal for the U’s in the recent 3-2 home victory over Barrow.

Taylor's performance in Tuesday's 2-2 at Aldershot Town spurred some fans of the Hampshire side to single him out as the game's outstanding player.

One supporter even posted on the Aldershot fans' forum that, in their opinion, the Sutton man is the best opposition player to have lined-up against the Shots so far this season.

The attacking midfielder is enjoying life at Sutton with his path to the Knights Community Stadium taking many twists and turns along the way.

“I was at Crystal Palace as youngster from the under 9s to 15s,” he explains.

“I got released from there and had a few trials at different places such as Brighton and Fulham but nothing really worked out there.

“Then I started playing under 18s football for Burgess Hill Town in the Ryman League where I got approached to do a scholarship in America. So, I went over there and played football for four years at St Edward’s University in Austin, Texas.

“The team I played for at Burgess Hill was a decent team. One of the lads, Greg Luer, was sold to Hull City. I played with him for a few months before I went to America.

"When I came back to the UK at Christmas he’d gone up from the 18s to the firsts and within a few months was snapped up by Steve Bruce at Hull.”

The name Greg Luer should send a shiver down the spine of any Sutton United fan.

The striker was on target for Burgess Hill, then of Ryman League South, when they dumped the U's out of the FA Cup at the 3rd qualifying round stage in 2014.

While Luer went on to Hull, Taylor embraced his chance to learn and develop in Texas.

“It was a very good level with good coaching and excellent facilities," said the midfielder.

“It’s a growing sport over there. We had training every day and a proper competitive league season. I loved it, I had an amazing four years.”

Taylor was an integral part of his university team known as the Hilltoppers and left a lasting impression on the coaching staff.

“There was no question in my mind that Josh would be a professional soccer player,” said Head Men's Soccer Coach at St Edward's University, Brian Young.

“Josh improved every year at St Edward's by working hard. He was open to being coached in all aspects of the game.

"It was just a question of who would sign him first. Sutton is a great fit for Josh to kick-start his professional career.

“He will do the same at Sutton and climb up the English system and reach a very good level as he develops as a player.

“The returning guys, alumni and the staff are very proud of him and are keen to see how he develops.”

If you want to see what his coaches past and present are raving about then it’s well worth watching a video on YouTube showing the fleet-footed Taylor in action during his spell Stateside which also included games for Oklahoma-based OKC Energy.

He returned to the UK in the summer and immediately put his contacts to work in a bid to find a new club and take his career to the next stage.

“Over the last couple of years my career went the way of possibly playing in the States," said Taylor.

"I had a few trials and went pre-season at a couple of clubs but it’s so tough with the international restrictions.

"You can only have five or six internationals per team and obviously there’s big names going over there from Europe, so it’s tricky. 

“I only came back to England at the end of June. One of my friends who I played with in America also came back and he played for Peterborough and Stevenage and eventually signed for Peterborough. So I asked him if his agent could help me and get me in at some clubs.

“He initially got me in at Leyton Orient where I played one half and scored two goals and I thought they might offer me something.

“But they got a new manager who had his own ideas of what sort of players he wanted. Then I got in here at Sutton just a few days later.

“I had one training session before I played against Havant and Waterlooville. I impressed in that game, scoring a goal and then the gaffer rung me up after that to offer me something.

“Obviously at the start of the season I had to bide my time. I made a few appearances off the bench but now I am starting matches and we’re flying high, so I can’t argue with that."

The move to the Knights Community Stadium seems perfect for the East Grinstead-based midfielder who has caught the eye with his speed, work-rate and ability to make things happen with astute passes.

"Seeing what Sutton did in the FA Cup last year was a big draw," he said. "They had also won the league the season before, so they seemed like a club that was pushing on.

"As soon as I came in and was around the lads and the staff, I thought this was such a great club and I’d love to be a part of it."

A stint with Sutton has benefitted a host of players in recent seasons with United boss Paul Doswell proud of the club's record of helping players progress to higher levels.

"As a club we take huge satisfaction in letting our young players progress into the Football League and this model is vital in attracting these players in the first instance to Sutton United.

"We currently have four first team players in Anthony Jeffrey, Louis John, Tommy Wright and Josh Taylor who are 23 or under and the interest in all these players shows how much progress they are making.

"These young players have a fantastic environment to work in and great credit should go to the senior players and coaching staff, in particular Bairdy [coach Ian Baid], who have passed on such valuable knowledge and encouragement to them."

The likes of Dan Wishart, Max Biamou, Tom Bolarinwa, Adam May and Roarie Deacon have all going on to test themselves at higher tiers of the game after a spell with Sutton and it seems Taylor could soon get his chance with Wigan and Birmingham the latest clubs to assess his abilities.

Working hard, wherever he's been, has served Taylor well.

He's clearly grateful for the opportunity, keen to repay the belief shown in him by United's management team and eager to move as far up the football ladder as possible.

“I am loving every minute of it," he said.

"From day one the boys have been great and I get on with the manager and Bairdy. I am just enjoying getting stuck in."