Harry Taylor (Australian rules footballer)
|Full name||Harry Taylor III|
|Date of birth||12 June 1986|
|Original team(s)||East Fremantle (WAFL)|
|Draft||No. 17, 2007 National Draft|
|Height/Weight||195 cm / 95 kg|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of Round 21, 2016.
Taylor attended Geraldton Grammar School in Geraldton where he was school captain in 2003 before moving to Perth in 2004 to pursue a possible career in the AFL. In 2001 he was the recipient of the Pierre de Coubertin Award and in 2003 he was one of eight Australian students selected to attend the 4th International Youth Forum in Italy. To help prepare himself for life as a footballer, Taylor worked for a year as a bricklayer to try to gain muscle which would ultimately help him as an AFL footballer. He grew up supporting Adelaide, idolising the high flying Tony Modra.
He is a mature age player who spent three seasons, and played 49 games for East Fremantle in the WAFL. Taylor finished third in the East Fremantle Sharks best and fairest in 2007. Before being drafted Taylor was studying physiotherapy at university, and had never left his home state of Western Australia.
Taylor was considered a surprise selection at pick 17 in the 2007 draft because of his age. Taylor made his debut for the Cats in the first round of the 2008 NAB Cup against Melbourne, in a highly impressive display in defence. He can play at either end of the ground as a key position player, but has made his mark at CHB though he has shown his versatility by kicking three goals in his debut season.
Taylor's football superstition is to wear zinc cream during every game regardless of the weather, however in his first game at Telstra Dome he did not wear it in fear of attracting too much attention. He has been known to take notes on each opponent he plays on in a bid to help improve his game.
In the heritage round clash against Melbourne, Taylor was forced to wear a guernsey with the number 85 on it as opposed to his usual number 7 guernsey. After changing his guernsey twice due to the blood rule there were no spare number 7 guernseys left and he could not return to the field until he was wearing a clean guernsey. It is still unclear why there was a spare number 85 guernsey.
Taylor made his finals debut in the Qualifying Final against St Kilda.
He credits his outstanding first season to the fact that he has an established backline around him and talented teammates who he can learn from. Former Geelong coach, Mark Thompson, has shown great faith in Taylor, stating that he will be with the Geelong Football Club for a very long time. Taylor's impressive debut season was recognised when he was awarded Geelong's Best first-year player award.
Harry Taylor played a superb role in the grand final, holding Nick Riewoldt to only a single goal. Although Taylor often had a third-man up in contested situations, he still played an excellent match on one of the AFL's best players. Riewoldt took a fine one-on-one mark and diving mark in front of Taylor in the third term, but the Cat hit back with a stunning smother in the third term just as Riewoldt was snapping at goal from the pocket. Taylor also kept the ball alive in the final term on the boundary and took the match-saving mark deep in defence when Darren Milburn kicked out. A superb game from the young defender whom Tom Harley and Matthew Scarlett heaped praises upon. Taylor finished with an equal record 15 spoils and played three quarters with a broken hand.
Harry Taylor played another key role in Geelong's 2011 Premiership Winning side against Collingwood. Taylor started the match on Travis Cloke of Collingwood and held him well early, however Cloke soon had a brief "purple patch" of form and booted 3 brilliant goals from outside 50 metres on his natural left boot. The Geelong coaching box decided to try Tom Lonergan on Cloke, and Cloke didn't manage to kick a goal after that move. However Harry Taylor still had a marvelous game, taking 4 critical marks in defense stimulating some Trademark Geelong rebounds. Whilst gathering 10 disposals on the day he was part of the Geelong elite defense who played a pivotal role in cutting off Collingwood's scoring opportunities and setting up play through the Geelong midfield.
This was Taylor's second Premiership Medallion with The Geelong Cats. It came after a stellar year of defensive work on several of the competitions key forwards. It is clear that Geelong's defensive players are a close knit unit with a brief sub-group "defenders" photograph on the field of the MCG with the 2011 Premiership Cup.
Before being drafted he had never been to Geelong and could not locate it on a map. He is fascinated with World War II which led him to start drinking Cognac and to start watching WWII-inspired TV series, Band of Brothers, which he sometimes watches before a game to draw inspiration from. Taylor dislikes metropolitan life, as there are "too many people up there" for his liking. Taylor's high school sweetheart, Michelle Giudice, gave birth to a little boy named James Taylor on 2 June 2010. Tradition has been broken in the Taylor family, after naming the baby boy James, instead of a fourth generation of Harrys.
- Statistics are correct to the end of the 2015 season
|Totals||Averages (per game)|
Honours and achievements
- AFL Premiership (Geelong) (2009, 2011)
- AFL Pre-Season Premiership (Geelong) (2009)
- McClelland Trophy (Geelong) (2008)
- All-Australian team (2010, 2013)
- Geelong F.C. Best First Year Player Award (2008)
- Australian international rules honours (2014, 2015)
- Jim Stynes Medallist (2015)
- Gullan, Scott (12 April 2008). "Learning curve for wise Harry Taylor". Herald Sun. Australia. Retrieved 3 October 2008.
- Auciello, Michael (26 November 2008). "Harry Taylor justifies pre-draft hype". Geelong Advertiser. Retrieved 3 October 2008.
- Witham, Jennifer (13 April 2008). "Taylor made for Cats' back six". gfc.com.au. Retrieved 3 October 2008.
- Green, Bradley (27 August 2008). "Cats coach throws support behind Taylor". Geelong Advertiser. Retrieved 3 October 2008.
- "Corey wins second best and fairest". AFL BigPond Network. 2 October 2008. Retrieved 3 October 2008.
- Williams, Rebecca (3 October 2008). "Joel Corey beats Gary Ablett to win Cats' B & F". Herald Sun. Australia. Retrieved 3 October 2008.
- Bieske, Sarah (1 April 2008). "Cat Harry Taylor likes his new Band of Brothers". Geelong Advertiser. Retrieved 3 October 2008.
- Broad, Ben (14 May 2008). "'G whiz, this is big". gfc.com.au. Retrieved 3 October 2008.
- Broad, Ben (28 November 2007). "Cats just wild about Harry". AFL BigPond Network. Retrieved 3 October 2008.
- Reynolds, Ryan (3 June 2010). "Geelong Cats star Harry Taylor becomes a father". Geelong Advertiser. Retrieved 14 August 2011.
- Harry Taylor's player profile at AFL Tables