Every good writer looks for an angle to their next story.
A catchy title here, a clever play on words there – anything really to engage the reader and maintain their undivided attention.
Sometimes however, you need to just lose all the bells and whistles and simply tell it how it is, and I can tell you for a fact that Taylor Adams wouldn’t have it any other way.
A straight shooting ‘old school’ leader with a firm handshake and who calls a spade a spade, there is so much more to Taylor Adams than just a highly talented Collingwood midfielder who doesn’t mind speaking his mind.
He’s a man’s man sure, and he’ll look you fair and square in the eyes when you meet, but he’s also a deep thinker, incredibly perceptive, and highly respectful of those who surround him.
And if you want my humble opinion, Adams is already onboard a one-way flight to AFL elite status faster than a bat out of hell.
Yeah, it’s fair to say that I liked Taylor Adams from the start.
I played with some inspirational leaders during my career with Geelong and Hawthorn.
Cameron Ling, Shane Crawford, Barry Stoneham, Jason Dunstall, Tom Harley, Paul Salmon, Matty Scarlett, Chris Langford and Liam Pickering are but a few of the brilliant leaders I had the honour of playing under throughout my AFL career.
Leadership comes in many forms, but one of the characteristics of great leaders, in my opinion, is the very narrow gap between their absolute best and worst performances on a week-to-week basis.
Taylor Adams has made his intentions acutely clear with regards to becoming a leader of the Collingwood Football club.
On the back of a breakout year in 2017 which included 22 games, 649 disposals, 14 Brownlow votes and Runner-up in the Copeland trophy, Adams’s consistency, leadership, durability and reliability were clear characteristics of his season.
An infant can tell you that a 30 possession game at any level in footy is a big game – Adams incredibly averaged 30 possessions in 2017.
Furthermore, his worst game from a statistical viewpoint in 2017 was 24 disposals.
To put that in perspective, if I’d collected 24 touches in a game during my career I’d be anticipating Brownlow votes.
They are numbers even Greg Williams, Robert Harvey and Nathan Buckley would be proud of.
Off the field Adams leads a quartet of Magpies studying the Certificate III in Carpentry program at the Trade Institute of Victoria.
He is joined by teammates Steele Sidebottom, Will Hoskin-Elliott and Jordan De Goey who have only recently joined the highly regarded course at TIV, but who have hit the ground running and been particularly impressive throughout the first few months of the program.
“I really have a new found interest in the building and construction industry as I’m planning on renovating my own house later this year,” Adams says.
“I’ve always had an interest in the real-estate industry also, particularly here in Melbourne so I thought what better way to get involved in the whole building game than to become qualified in a trade with the objective of ultimately getting my builders license,” he adds.
They are wise words from a highly intelligent man with the foresight to know where he wants to go in life and how he plans to get there.
“The flexibility TIV offer is exceptional,” Adams says.
“The opportunity for us – and for all the clubs who study at TIV – to be able to come in one day a week on our day off and gradually chip away at a Carpentry qualification was really enticing.”
“The footy industry in Victoria is relatively insular so we obviously had the opportunity to speak to players from other clubs about TIV and they all highly recommended the program,” he adds.
“It’s a great opportunity for our group to become qualified in a trade while still playing football,” Adams says.
“And what better way to do it than with a group of your mates, on your day off with a flexible training provider and with people who understand the nature of the AFL landscape,” he adds.
So it comes as no surprise to me that since commencing at TIV this group of Magpies enjoyed some white hot form down the stretch in 2017, and in some cases perhaps even career best performances.
Led by Adams, the star quartet were dominant in Collingwood’s late surge for the finals with wins over Gold Coast (away), West Coast, North Melbourne and Melbourne and a now infamous draw with the Adelaide Crows.
“Having an outside interest away from the club without doubt helps your performance on the weekend,” Adams says.
“It keeps you fresh and motivated to perform, and I’m not surprised to see the way Steele (Steele Sidebottom), Will (Will Hoskin-Elliott) and Jordy (Jordan De Goey) finished off the year in really strong fashion.” he adds.
Collingwood assistant coach and former teammate of mine, Brenton Sanderson is another Taylor Adams fan, and doesn’t hesitate in speaking glowingly of his star midfielder.
“He’s a ripper mate,” Sanderson says.
“Plenty of talent, hard at it, great work ethic and a natural leader,” he adds.
The word is out – Taylor Adams can seriously play.
A good writer looks for a clever ending to their current story.
A catchy ending here, some humour to finish there – anything really to keep the reader engaged and thinking about what it is you’ve just written.
Sometimes, however you need to just lose all the bells and whistles and simply tell it how it is, so that it is precisely what I am going to do.
Taylor Adams is a leader and a superstar.
And TIV is proud to have him.
Author: Aaron Lord