Former Tiger s AFL time will come
Former Tiger's AFL time will come

Former Claremont midfielder Shannon Taylor will definitely be drafted by an AFL club at the end of the year after a stunning start to 2014, according to his new coach Simon Goosey.

Taylor was once considered an AFL certainty as he impressed recruiters while in the AFL Academy with his speed, skill and agility. But the teenage father struggled with the commitments required to be an elite player, gained weight, was overlooked by clubs on draft day and he decided to leave the WAFL to play suburban football.

Taylor was recruited by VFL club Frankston this year and four games later he has been picked in a 40-man State squad to play the SANFL on May 31.

Now a father of three, Taylor has shed significant weight and his talents on debut earned him the VFL’s mark and goal of the week award for the same match.

Goosey said recruiters were so enthusiastic about Taylor’s revival that he wasn’t planning on him being at the club next year.

“He’s done,” Goosey said.

“I’ve got no doubt he will be drafted. Quite a few clubs have talked about him. We’ve had a few drafted and he’s as talented a player as I have coached. He’s got all the tools. He’s as quick as anyone. He’s definitely settled and he knows what he wants."

Goosey admitted being surprised by Taylor’s poor condition when he arrived for training in December. But he said the youngster’s determination to improve was clear and it took him only two months to meet the benchmarks set by the club.

The youngest member of the VFL squad, Taylor is now working for a bank and Goosey said he deserved an opportunity.

“He’s a good story,” Goosey said.

“He’s really determined to make something out of his life. His partner had a baby in February so he’s done a mighty job packing up his family at that time.”

Former Fremantle players Nick Lower, Josh Mellington and Peter Faulks, ex-Perth midfielder Daniel Venditti, former South Fremantle onballer Mitch Banner and ex-West Coast onballer Adam Cockie have also been chosen in VFL squad.

Mellington is playing with Essendon’s VFL team after leaving Fremantle at the end of last year despite having a year left on his contract.

He’s kicked 10 goals while playing as a half-forward and VFL coach Damian Carroll – who also works as Hawthorn’s development academy coach - said it was obvious why he’d played AFL football.

“He’s very clean, he’s got good skills and he’s figured pretty prominently in the best players,” Carroll said.

“It can be hard when you’re a VFL-listed player because you don’t train with the Bombers so the alignments can be hard.

“He’d definitely shown signs that he’s good enough. He doesn’t need a lot of kicks to impact on the scoreboard.”

The West Australian

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