PHIL Parkinson waved farewell to Cheltenham-bound Matt Taylor and insisted: He needs to play for himself.

The centre half aims to put an injury-plagued spell at Valley Parade behind him after agreeing to sign for the League Two Robins on a two-year deal.

There is no fee involved after Taylor’s City contract, which had another season to run, was cancelled by mutual consent.

Taylor is likely to be handed the captain’s armband by Cheltenham boss Mark Yates when he arrives next week.

The 32-year-old played only four times for City and was laid low by a serious foot injury in February when he tore a tendon in the bottom of his right foot. The operation ruled him out for the remainder of the campaign.

But he returned for pre-season and proved his fitness with three appearances in the friendlies against UCD, Shelbourne and Ossett Town.

Parkinson said: “I’ve had several chats with Matt and he was going to find it difficult to be out of the team after the work he has done to get back.

“Having done so much to get himself fit again, he needs to be playing regular football.”

Taylor will be Cheltenham’s eighth summer signing as they undertake a major overhaul.

After narrowly missing out in the play-offs in successive seasons, the Robins slumped to 17th place last term – finishing only five points above the drop zone.

Many of the new recruits are unproven and Yates sees Taylor as the senior defender to succeed 35-year-old Steve Elliott, who will take on more of a coaching role.

Taylor played more games on a month’s loan at Colchester last season than in a City shirt. He told the T&A last week that the past 12 months had been a “total write-off.”

Taylor, a former skipper at Charlton, said: “I can’t go another season with not playing.

“People forget you’re there when you don’t play football. They don’t remember what you’ve done in the past.

“I need to be back performing on the pitch and I’m trying to give myself the best opportunity for that.”

His departure will free up room within the City playing budget as Parkinson looks to bolster numbers before the season kicks off in a fortnight.

He has had a look at two central defenders on trial in pre-season – Richard Bryan and Frenchman Christophe Routis.