View Full Version : Ashley Taylor

29-04-16, 10:02 AM
Ashley Taylor discussion thread

14-12-17, 02:10 PM
Ash Taylor's plan to become the best player in the NRL

Ash Taylor is just 22, but has set himself dual goals of being the best player in the game and leading the Gold Coast Titans to premiership contention.

For someone with only 47 NRL games under their belt at a club which finished 15th last season, they are lofty aspirations.

Earlier in 2017 Matthew Johns said Taylor was a better half than his brother Andrew and future Immortal Johnathan Thurston at the same stage of their careers.

As part of his bid to reach that level, new Titans head of performance Hayden Knowles has been pushing Taylor to his limits.

“Hayden has been up front with me about the need to drive myself and to have the determination to be the best player in the game,” Taylor told NRL.com.

“That is my goal, to be the game’s best player.

“It is obviously long term. I’ve got to build towards it, but JT was a late bloomer and hopefully I can take it all the way.

“Hayden has told me ‘you need to be fitter and you need to be more agile’. ‘’There is not a person in the NRL who can say they are the fittest except for JT, one of the greats, who is everywhere on the field.

“That is the level you’ve got to be to be great.”

Scott Prince was the foundation half at the Titans, and when they made the finals in 2009 and 2010 it was on the back of his dominance as a playmaker.

For the Titans to be successful again Taylor has to own the team the way Prince did.

“Princey was a great player and I can learn a lot from what he did,” Taylor said.

“I have signed for four more seasons here and I am more than happy to play for the Titans.

“Sometimes it is not about being the Big Kahuna at the big clubs. It is about building the little clubs.

“The Titans gave me a leg-up and a start in the NRL and it is all about giving back and trying to take this club all the way and into premiership contention.”

Despite having started out in the Brisbane Broncos system, Taylor said he had no serious consideration to return to the club that developed him as a junior.

“There was a lot of talk but there wasn’t really a deal on the table,” he said.

“I’d been at the Broncos since I was 14 and in the back of my head I wanted to give back more to the club that developed me to be an NRL player.

“I was very honoured and proud to play one NRL game for the Broncos, but I feel that my best direction forward is here at the Titans and helping the club get back on its feet.”

Taylor developed a bond with Garth Brennan over the phone last season after his good mate Tyrone Roberts - who had been coached by Brennan at Newcastle - recommended him as a mentor.

When Brennan signed on as coach, Taylor was only too happy time to sign a four-year extension at the Titans.

“I signed after Garth got the job and that was a big factor because I needed the security of knowing who the coach was going to be and where the club was heading,” Taylor said.

“It was massive for me to know the club was in good hands, and I know it is with Garth. He is a great coach and I have a lot of confidence he can take this club a long way.

“As a half you want to be dominant on the field and it is just great that Garth is backing me to be that guy. I am not going to let him or my teammates down.

“I am working hard now to be in perfect shape for when the first round comes around so I am all guns blazing.”

Brennan said Taylor had “a lot more development to go to get where he needs to be” but insisted the potential was there for him to lead the Titans to great things.

“The way he plays excites me and he is a young guy who you can tell loves playing footy, loves the ball in his hands and loves creating things,” Brennan said.

“He is not a robot, and I don’t want him to be. He does some special things and I want to bring the best out of him in that area.”

14-12-17, 06:06 PM
Can't fly like an eagle if you run with the turkeys ... go Ash go!

28-12-17, 03:20 PM
Ash Taylor reveals weight-loss plan in order to fulfil the vision of new Titans coach Garth Brennan

ASHLEY Taylor knows he will have a couple of post-Christmas kilos to cut if he is to fulfil the vision new Titans coach Garth Brennan has for the young man entrusted with the task of guiding the club to a maiden premiership.
Brennan’s appointment as Neil Henry’s replacement in late October was followed shortly thereafter by the contract extension of Taylor that keeps him on the Gold Coast – and out of the clutches of richer NRL clubs – until at least the end of the 2021 season.

As he put pen to paper on a three-year extension – he was already contracted for the 2018 season – Taylor revealed the extent of the existing relationship he shared with Brennan for the 18 months prior, the former Panthers lower grade coach providing some mentorship from 900 kilometres away.

No two people will be more important to the success of the Titans in the short term than the coach and his prodigiously talented young half and after playing every game in 2017 Taylor’s involvement is set to expand in 2018.

In addition to stripping a squad considered by many to be wooden spoon favourites back to the game’s pure basics, Brennan will embolden every member of the squad to use the football to its full effect, and that means Taylor and halves partner Kane Elgey must be capable of covering many more metres during a game.

In 2017, Taylor positioned himself predominantly on the right side and Elgey patrolled the left but there will be no such restrictions next season, which means Taylor has a little bit of weight to lose.

“I’m trying to cut a little bit back. I want to be everywhere on the field so I’ve got to cut a little bit more back,” Taylor told foxsports.com.au of his pre-season goals.

“Just working hard on doing that inch by inch and day by day. Just going to keep moving forward, keep running my **** off and keep working hard.

“I want to try and do it the right way, the lean way and keep eating my meals and keep bringing the energy I need to bring.

“He’s given us the licence to play some footy and that’s what he wants everyone to do, not just our halves.

“We want everybody playing footy and we want everybody excelling and everyone being fit and strong.”

How the combination between Taylor and Elgey develops next season will be a key factor in whether the Titans can exceed expectations like they did in 2016 and make the finals.

The constant speculation regarding Elgey’s position at five-eighth ahead of Tyrone Roberts somewhat undermined his partnership with Taylor but Elgey too is excited about the brand of football they will play under Brennan.

“He wants us to be a footy team that plays footy,” Elgey said.

“In recent years you’ll see teams are structured up the middle but we’re not going to be too structured.

“Obviously I’m not going to say too much but he has said that in the media, that he likes to chuck the ball around and give the Gold Coast a team they want to watch.

“Garth wants us to be the fittest and the strongest team in the comp so we’ve all taken that on board,” added Elgey, who unlike Taylor put on two kilograms of muscle prior to the Christmas break.

Due to turn 23 on the same day the Titans meet the Warriors in Round 2 in Auckland, Taylor will bring up a significant milestone in Round 3 but says he doesn’t feel any additional pressure after signing a contract believed to be worth as much as $1 million a season.

“I don’t think so. I feel a lot more relief than anything,” said Taylor.

“I just want to keep moving forward, not let anything come into play off the field.

“I just want to do my best for my team and for my club and hopefully win a premiership.

“Careers aren’t very long these days. This is my third full season coming up.

“I played every game this year and that was one of my goals so it’s just good to tick off little things.

“Obviously the milestone next is 50 games of NRL. That’s a milestone for me and I want to celebrate it and I want to keep excelling.

“I want to play as many games as I can.”

31-12-17, 05:29 PM
Also needs to stay away from another NRL player returning to QLD.

Bayside Titan
31-12-17, 11:55 PM
Also needs to stay away from another NRL player returning to QLD.

Which club would that player coming back to mate ?

11-03-18, 04:18 PM
Titans halfback Ashley Taylor on title hopes and Socceroos legend Tim Cahill

ASHLEY Taylor has outlined his desire to deliver the Titans’ maiden premiership and has revealed how Socceroos legend Tim Cahill is his secret weapon in his quest to become an Origin star.

The Titans will launch one of the most critical seasons in their turbulent history when Taylor attempts to plot the downfall of Canberra in Gold Coast’s season-opener at Cbus Super Stadium.

There is no Titan under greater pressure than Taylor. The $1 million schemer is the Gold Coast’s highest-paid player and coach Garth Brennan is banking on Taylor — who turns 23 next week — to stamp a Johnathan Thurston-like authority on the embattled club.

The Titans have been written-off by bookmakers as potential wooden-spooners this season but Taylor is determined to become a playmaking great and engineer the club’s maiden title.

“I’d love to help this club to a premiership,” Taylor said ahead of his showdown with the Raiders on Sunday.

“There’s pressure that comes with being a well-paid player but that’s what people expect of those players.

“I have no issues with that. I want to be a leader and be the best player I can be and hopefully that’s winning a lot of games for the Titans.

“I want to build a special culture at this club.

“It’s an important season for the Titans and for myself, too — it’s time for me to really step up.”

Talent has never been an issue for Taylor but there have been concerns about his off-field professionalism.

Over summer, new high-performance chief Hayden Knowles has not only worked on Taylor’s physical fitness but the mental toughness required to survive in the NRL for another decade.

Knowles has some of the best sporting networks in the country, having previously trained Australian boxing great Danny Green. He also has links with Cahill and reached out to the Socceroos ace to help Taylor in a mentoring role.

“Tim has been incredible for me,” Taylor said.

“Hayden set up a meeting, just to give me someone to talk to, and we caught up. It was awesome. We had a two-hour chat and we’ve stayed in contact ever since. Tim still sends me texts and it’s great to have someone like him as a mentor.

“He is a world-class athlete and he’s taught me a lot about the mental side of sport at the top level.

“He could be playing at a fourth World Cup for Australia, so it blows me away what he has achieved.

“At first I was starstruck but he gives me insights into preparation and stuff he does off the field and how he handles himself off the field.

“He doesn’t tell me how to play rugby league. We don’t even talk about football ... it’s more about how to be professional.”

Cahill has also taught Taylor not to fear aiming high in life.

It’s why the Toowoomba product, who plays his 48th NRL game on Sunday, is this season eyeing the Queensland No. 7 jumper vacated by Roosters recruit Cooper Cronk.

“It’s a massive goal of mine to play Origin this year,” he said.

“Growing up, I watched guys like Cam Smith and (Johnathan) Thurston on TV and I really want that Queensland jersey.

“I know what that Maroons jumper means to those guys and it’s important to set high goals in life.

“There’s no reason I can’t get that No. 7 jersey if I work hard and I’d love to do it this year.”

Coach Brennan last week put Taylor on notice, ordering him to deliver bang for his buck this season but the Titans halfback took no offence to the stinging critique.

“I’ve had to learn how to play NRL week in, week out,” he said.

“I’ve had to get my body right with some injuries I’ve picked up but I’m slowly learning the game and I know this is the year I need to deliver.

“Me and Kane Elgey are young halves and there isn’t a lot of experience in our team, so I want to take on a leadership role this year and be the dominant playmaker the club needs.”

17-03-18, 12:17 PM
Darren Lockyer: Taylor still a year away from Origin

THE Queensland scrumbase is vacant and the audition for the No.6 and No.7 jumpers will heat up over the next few weeks.

The contenders are plentiful. Michael Morgan, Daly Cherry-Evans, Corey Norman, Ben Hunt, Anthony Milford, Cameron Munster and Ashley Taylor are just some of the names that will be thrown up in the build-up to State of Origin I at the MCG.

There is a big push for Taylor to play Origin this season.

The Titans halfback was classy against the Raiders on Sunday and I’m disappointed injury has robbed him of the opportunity to test himself against Warriors wizard Shaun Johnson today at Mt Smart Stadium.

It just happens to be Taylor’s 23rd birthday today.

It is an intriguing age in an NRL context because it marks a period where a playmaker, such as Taylor, must leap from boom young talent to hardening first-grader capable of shaping the outcome of matches.

Right now, I would predict Taylor is still a season away from an Origin debut.

It’s up to Taylor to prove me wrong though. Like former Titan Scott Prince, who took seven seasons to play Origin, he needs to understand the journey to wearing maroon and the importance of finetuning the natural deficiencies in any young player’s game.

When you start talking about any player in an Origin sense, natural talent is only one facet.

There are other critical variables. Can a player defend well under fatigue? Are they limiting their mistakes with the football? They are the factors a player needs to address to be Origin-ready.

Taylor is definitely part of Queensland’s succession planning.

Coach Kevin Walters has already introduced Taylor to camps to expose him to the Maroons’ culture, but he needs to be consistent each week at the Titans and learn to play with patience and do his job in defence.

One of the roles of the Titans’ new coach, Garth Brennan, over the next two years is to work closely with Taylor to ensure he plays with more discipline.

There’s no doubt Taylor is a natural-born footballer.

He has a magnificent deft touch and reads the game well, but it’s rare to find an emerging halfback who can string together weeks of error-free football.

Penrith’s Nathan Cleary, still just 20, is probably the best young playmaker in the code at minimising mistakes.

The Titans’ clash with the Warriors will be an interesting barometer of Gold Coast’s character as a football team.

I liked what I saw from the Titans in their epic 30-28 defeat of Canberra last round.

Sure, the first 15 minutes were a defensive disaster, but the side showed great spirit to overturn an 18-0 deficit.

Without Taylor today, it’s important his halves partner Kane Elgey steps up.

Elgey is 24 but whereas Taylor is confident by nature, he appears down on confidence.

His knee reconstruction two years ago set him back and mentally, it’s never easy to step back into the arena with the same swagger.

New recruit Blake Green is a superb foil for Johnson at the Warriors and Elgey can take a leaf from his playmaking book.

For the Titans to be a topeight contender this season, they need the Elgey-Taylor scrumbase combination to complement one another.

Too many Titans teams in recent years have lacked consistency. It’s important the Titans have a red-hot crack today because the Warriors look fitter and Green gives them more composure.

Most importantly, though, in the face of a big challenge, the Titans need to show character.

30-03-18, 04:02 PM
Ash Taylor exclusive column: The difficult Broncos question and what I owe the Titans

IT’S a tough question for me to answer because the Broncos played such a massive role in the early stages of my rugby league career.
Everyone asks whether I’m going to play for the Broncos again in the future and all I can tell them is that if it happens, it happens. If it’s meant to be it’s meant to be.

I wouldn’t be at the Titans if it wasn’t meant to be, I wouldn’t be playing first grade if the Titans didn’t give me an opportunity and I wouldn’t be playing my 50th NRL game this week if it wasn’t for the Titans.

I was nine years old and living in western Queensland when the Broncos came to do a clinic at St George State School. I don’t remember exactly which players came, all I remember is trying to be the best in every drill we did to try and impress these guys that I idolised.

In our house Mum was a Broncos fan and Dad went for the Storm and I probably leaned towards the Storm when I was really young. Once we moved to Toowoomba when I was 11 I started going for the Broncos and loved everything they did.

I signed my first Broncos scholarship when I was 12 years old and not long after that moved into the development squad.

Being such a young age, I was shocked that I was signing a piece of paper that had the Brisbane Broncos printed across the top.

You think you’ve become part of what is a very successful club and the fact that they were going to put time into develop you into a better footy player was surreal.

Getting the team gear at that age was probably the coolest thing. I used to get two training shirts, two training shorts and a pair of Nike boots and joggers. That was the best thing ever.

It really hit me that I was part of the Broncos when I’d come down once a month from Toowoomba.

Coming down and seeing where they train and seeing their lockers, just being around the same facility that the Broncos used at the time was a massive step and made me pretty nervous.

Darren Lockyer was always my hero growing up and I remember Dad coming in and embarrassing me by taking a photo of me in front of his locker. It was pretty embarrassing.

At the time the Broncos were the only club I wanted to play for. I didn’t want to be anywhere else.

One thing I always saw as an under-20s player walking through the Leagues Club was the little tiles they have on the floor with the names of everyone who has played for the Broncos and how many games they played for the club.

That’s what I wanted and when I made my debut in Round 26, 2015 I became part of Broncos history forever but I haven’t actually been back to see if my name’s on the floor of the Leagues Club yet.

We’re now trying to forge a new history at the Titans and there’s no doubt playing against the Broncos means just that little bit more.

For a number of us we are playing against mates we had at the club and also guys who you trained alongside coming up through the grades.

Every year that I play them I love the lead-up to the game because I know how important a game it is for myself and my team.

We haven’t beaten them in the four games that I’ve played against the Broncos since coming to the Titans and we’re still trying to shake that tag as the little brother of the Broncos.

They’ve been successful over the years and won premierships and that’s something we’re yet to achieve.

We’ve come close to beating them but haven’t been able to tip it over the line against them. If we were to beat them on Sunday we’d probably get the same reaction as we got when we beat the Storm last year.

To beat the Broncos at Suncorp would be massive for me but also for the team to beat a successful club.

The rivalry has been one-sided in recent years but I can promise our members and supporters that we’re all working hard at the Titans to make it a genuine rivalry between the two clubs.

We want to fill out Cbus Super Stadium but we haven’t been able to do that because we haven’t been performing.

Once we start performing and showing people that we can play footy I’m sure that we’ll get more people into the stadium and we’ll take our fair share of big scalps.

Nols of the Goldy
30-03-18, 09:32 PM
That first paragraph says it all to me. He will be at the Donkeys as soon as his contract is up for sure if they want him. He will be in the prime of his career, most probably in the Origin arena and they will lure him back with Kevvy most likely the coach. I am now convinced that was his master plan and he just signed with us for the dollars. Nothing more, nothing less.

Mr Bods
30-03-18, 09:43 PM
That first paragraph says it all to me. He will be at the Donkeys as soon as his contract is up for sure if they want him. He will be in the prime of his career, most probably in the Origin arena and they will lure him back with Kevvy most likely the coach. I am now convinced that was his master plan and he just signed with us for the dollars. Nothing more, nothing less.

It’s impossible to disagree Nols. That was an awful cringeworthy read.

31-03-18, 02:06 AM
Very strange to see our playmaker and star write such a thing in the lead up to the local derby.

IT’S a tough question for me to answer because the Broncos played such a massive role in the early stages of my rugby league career.

Everyone asks whether I’m going to play for the Broncos again in the future and all I can tell them is that if it happens, it happens. If it’s meant to be it’s meant to be.

31-03-18, 10:18 AM
I think we are way too harsh on this young bloke ... he’s ours for years yet and he chose us so let’s just back him in and hope he will deliver.

22-05-18, 01:31 PM
Fletch & Hindy: Ash Taylor