Swans hope Lions will regret Taylor trade
TROTS-loving Lewis Taylor has the bit between his teeth after his re-energising switch to the Sydney Swans.
Whether it's a wing role or half-forward, the 24-year-old is hungry to make his mark with coach John Longmire hailing the addition of a player blessed with real football intelligence.
After six seasons with the Brisbane Lions, the 24-year-old was traded to the Swans in return for draft pick No.48 back in October.
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Of his 112 games (and 88 goals) for the Queensland outfit, only five came last year as a resurgent Lions charged into the finals.
But far from sulking, Taylor excelled in the club's NEAFL side and was rewarded with a flag, his form catching the attention of Longmire and his recruiting team.
"I feel this move was the best thing for my football and change can be a good thing," Taylor said after a sweltering training session at Lakeside Oval on Friday.
"I was really happy for the guys playing in the ones at the Lions (last season). You'd love to be out there yourself playing finals but that's footy. It doesn't always go your way.
"I think it's a re-energising move for me, I'm really enjoying it, training hard, and doing everything I can (for selection) for Round 1."
As he battles the likes of Tom Papley, Ben Ronke and fellow new boy Sam Gray for a spot in the best 22, the 175cm, 80kg Taylor hopes his versatility will be a huge plus when it comes to selection. It's certainly one of the reasons Longmire and company were keen to secure his services.
The Swans coach admits Taylor has long been on the club's radar, Taylor having first caught the eye as he pipped the Western Bulldogs' Marcus Bontempelli to win the Rising Star Award in 2014 (Taylor edging it by a single vote).
If the Lions can't now find room for Taylor, Longmire certainly can.
"We think he gives that run through the wing and half-forward," he said. "He's very smart as well. He understands the game, where to run. We think he and Sam Gray can really add to that front half."
On Saturday night, Taylor will take a breather to enjoy his other sporting passion - harness racing.
Along with former Lions teammate Darcy Gardiner, Taylor will be at Melton to roar on Code Bailey, the horse he part owns.
"It had a win in the Bendigo Cup a month ago and it's racing in the Hunter Cup Saturday night. I'm flying down for it and with a bit of luck, be nice to get over the line first," he said.
Not flying at present is Isaac Heeney. The 23-year-old has had surgery on his broken right thumb following a training accident on Monday. He looked on from the sidelines on Friday but appeared in good spirits.
"He just hit someone's leg as he went to handball it," Longmire said. "He's had the surgery and we expect it to be a month. But he can run and we obviously look forward to having him back."