K rock Football

Jeremy Taylor-made for Eagles

Jeremy Taylor has signed with Newtown & Chilwell. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Marcel Berens)

PATIENCE has paid off for GFL premiership hopeful Newtown & Chilwell with Jeremy Taylor returning to his home club.

The Eagles had approached the former Gold Coast midfielder on several occasions about again wearing the red and black before landing the 27-year-old’s signature on Tuesday night.

“He’s been our No.1 priority, to be honest,” Newtown & Chilwell coach Damien McMahon said moments after Taylor put pen to paper.

“He’s a one-point player, 27-years-old, an exceptional leader, versatile player.

“I think he’s your model GFL footballer.”

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Drafted with pick No.39 in the 2010 National Draft by the Suns after impressing at the Geelong Falcons, Taylor played 10 matches across four injury-affected seasons on the Gold Coast.

Following his delisting, he joined VAFA club Uni Blues and featured in this year’s flag-winning Premier Division team coached by former St Joseph’s and Queenscliff mentor Heath Jamieson.

“It was all about timing,” McMahon said.

“He’s studying medicine at Deakin Geelong, and we knew as he went deeper into that course, it would demand more time of him here in Geelong, which was probably going to make it difficult for him to keep playing at Uni Blues.

“Winning a flag up there probably assisted our cause a little bit as well – a nice way to finish after being there for a few years.

“We were really hopeful we would get him before time ran out, and where we sit at the moment, the timing is perfect for us.”

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McMahon expects the 191cm Taylor will play predominantly forward for the Eagles, joining the likes of Sam Nichols, Darcy Troop and Will Robinson as marking targets inside forward 50.

However, the Eagles’ coach hasn’t ruled out Taylor also spending time in the midfield.

“We played (Uni Blues) in a practice match (this year), and he played centre half-forward and kicked four goals against us,” McMahon said.

“So, he could easily play the centre half-forward role; he could play ruck-rover.

“Best answer, forward/mid.”

Confirmation of Taylor’s signing follows the signing of Jordan Jones and Lara best-and-fairest Nick Egan.

“I think in the midfield is where we need Jordan,” he said.

“When we finished up at the end of the (2019) season, put Jordan Jones with Matt Boag and Matt McMahon, it changes things considerably after none of those guys played in that game (first semi-final against St Mary’s).

“He’s someone we’ve been keen to get. If he didn’t go to Ocean Grove, we felt he would have been at Newtown last year.

“And Nick is a proven ball-magnet in a team that didn’t win very often.

“He’s got some improving to do, and I think coming here is a good thing for him to be challenged with some high-calibre players around him.”

Jones, who underwent season-ending knee surgery in May, hopes to be back in full training by Christmas, while three-time Mathieson medallist Matt McMahon is on light duties until the new year after battling an Achilles problem during 2019.

Meanwhile, McMahon has added former Lara and Grovedale coach Simon Riddoch to his coaching staff.

An eight-time premiership defender at North Shore, Riddoch will look after the Eagles’ talented backline.

“He wasn’t planning to do anything football-wise, but we’ve enticed him with the lure of a pretty good defensive group,” McMahon said.

“He’s a guy that’s stood the test of time. He’s been coaching for a long time, has a great football background.

“I have fond memories of playing against him as one of the best defenders I ever played on and a true competitor.

“We’re pretty stoked to have a GFL coach stepping into a line coaching role.”

Twitter: @tom_king79