Harry Taylor to head back to Geelong but says “spiritual connection” will bring him back to Mid West

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Harry Taylor at Towns Football Club.
Camera IconHarry Taylor at Towns Football Club. Credit: Tamati Smith, Yama(t)ji/via AFL Photos, Tamati Smith, Yama(t)ji

Harry Taylor may be leaving town — but the two-time AFL premier, soon to be working with Geelong, says he’ll be back.

Taylor has accepted an offer from the Cats for a role that is as yet unspecified and will take him back east with the club.

He will have to give up the position running the day-to-day affairs of the Great Northern Football League he has held for the past 12 months and hang up his beloved green-and-gold Northampton jumper — but it won’t be for ever.

“I just came back, and leaving again is definitely not an easy decision, that’s for sure,” Taylor said. “I’ve absolutely loved working at the GNFL and playing at Northampton, and putting my feet back in the dirt where I grew up. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

“After being away so long I think I needed to do that for my own peace and clarity of mind.”

Taylor said coming home was something he needed to do.

“I’ll definitely miss the people that I’ve worked with, and for,” he said.

“That’s certainly one thing — although it hasn’t been a long time, I’ve established some good relationships with people in the GNFL, Northampton and the wider community.

“I feel a spiritual connection to the people, the land and sea in the Mid West.

“That was something strong pulling me back but I get some solace knowing it will still be there at some point, because we will come back at some point.

“That’s for sure.” Taylor’s time at the GNFL has been eventful, with the league’s first live streamed matches and the introduction of video highlights sent to the clubs among the developments.

Taylor broke the Rams’ goals record with 85 majors for the season.

Being in WA during a crucial time for Northampton after cyclone Seroja hit hard, Taylor was also able to join fundraising efforts for the community with fellow AFL Rams like Josh Kennedy and Andrew Lockyer.

President Colin Cox said having Taylor turn out for the Rams was a major drawcard in itself, with 700-800 people through the gates at games he played.

“He’s given us a lot of good things,” Cox said. “Just the fact he played, not many places can boast that they have an AFL player come straight from a grand final and play for them, even for 12 months.

“People wanted to watch him.

“That was a huge drawcard.”

Cox said the finals series was the best he had been involved in for many years in the league.

He said the plan was to build on the development in the league to stream a game of the round each week next season.

Rams women’s coach Josh Wilson, whose team won their first flag last season, said Taylor had brought energy and professionalism to the club, and had been happy to help out demonstrating match preparation techniques.

“It was nice to see how he portrays himself and prepares,” Wilson said.“Everyone seemed a little bit more upbeat and it increased some momentum that was already building.”

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