Maik Taylor has spelt out his delight at tying up a permanent move to Birmingham and insisted: “I always had faith in my ability to play at the top level.”
Taylor is experiencing his first full season of Premiership football and he has now completed a £1.5million move from Fulham after being on loan all season.
The former Southampton player has put pen to paper on a deal which will keep him at St Andrews until the summer of 2008.
Taylor has played a significant part in establishing Blues as a top half of the table side who are still in with a chance of qualifying for Europe.
He moved away from Fulham despite being in the first team for the second half of last season when it became apparent that Edwin van der Sar would be first choice again on his return from injury.
Northern Ireland number one Taylor said: “I’m very happy to stay full-time and it was never ever going to be any big deal in terms of agreeing personal teams.
“My family moved up to the area as soon as I joined Birmingham and it was going to go through just as long as we stayed up as the clubs had agreed a fee.
“I am enjoying it here. It is my first full season in the top flight and it has got to make you sharper playing week-in and week-out.
“Fulham went down the road of signing van der Sar which restricted my options there – although I was in the team for the second half of last season.
“But I always had faith in my ability to be able to play at the top level and it was great to come to a place where you feel wanted and part of things.”
Taylor has always been an advocate of the work ethic and his previous career in the Army will ensure he is not carried away with life as a professional footballer.
He said: “I think my army background has given me a discipline to keep working hard and also to appreciate what I have got now as a footballer.
“I’ve been lucky with injuries and missed only two games in my career with them and, like I’ve said before, I want to carry on playing for a long time.
“People like Peter Schmeichel and David Seaman have proved it is possible if you can stay injury-free.”