By Brad Kingsbury
LOOKING BACK TO OCTOBER 31, 2007
Why it took Beaconsfield Football Club so long to make captain, assistant coach and multi-best-and-fairest winner its senior coach for 2008, only the Eagles’ selection panel knows, but that was of little consequence to Robbie Taylor as he prepared himself for the challenges ahead last week.
Taylor accepted that Beaconsfield was obliged to explore every avenue it could in its search for the right coach to replace Haydn Robins and refused to buy into the process.
However the 28-year-old Casey Cardinia League star admitted that a host of clubs had sought his services and he would have accepted a position elsewhere had the Eagles gone in another direction.
“I think 15 clubs spoke to me and there were some interesting offers,” he said.
“There were five assistant (coaching) positions and I think 10 coaching roles, but I wanted to give Beaconsfield the time to go through things.
“I did have another option, but of course I’m happy to stay at Beaconsfield – it’s my club.”
Taylor’s record in the game speaks for itself and included two reserves best-and-fairest awards at AFL club Richmond, a stint at West Adelaide in the SANFL and
a Casey Cardinia League best and- fairest medal.
He has been an assistant coach with the Eagles for five years, but last season took a much greater role in the development of the club’s young list.
Robins even gave him a chance to take the match-day reins on one occasion in 2007 and Taylor said he was ready to move into the role.
“I’ve never been someone that had my heart set on coaching from a young age, but I think the time’s right now and I’m looking forward to the season,” he said.
No assistant coach has been named as yet, but discussions are well advanced.
Taylor indicated that certain areas would be targeted for recruitment, with a key forward high on the wish list, while premiership players Kane Airdrie and Ross Jackson headed a list of up to six former players who were likely to return to the Perc Allison Oval.
Taylor was enthusiastic about the coming year and said that he was aiming for and expecting a finals berth.
“There’s no reason why not,” he said.
“We already have a handful of really talented kids and with the inclusion of four to six others with experience; we’ve clearly got the basis of a good side.
“We’ve gone through some hardship but Haydn (Robins) has prepared these kids for the next step. I’m aiming to take it.”
Club president Terry Lock said that the 10-week selection process had been exhaustive.
The club searched and spoke to players from AFL, VFL and major leagues, but was fortunate to have had a marquee player already in their ranks in Taylor.
Lock said that Taylor ticked all the boxes that the criteria required and was a high-quality person who is respected by his teammates and opposition.
Lock also announced that Beaconsfield’s slogan for the coming season would be ‘Beacy 08 -Taylor made for success’.