Geelong premiership great Harry Taylor is returning to football in a surprise new role, but one ex-teammate believes there’s a ‘bigger picture’ in play with the move.
The 280-gamer has embarked on an interesting journey since calling time on his playing career at the end of 2020.
He returned to his native Western Australia for 2021, working as operations manager in the Great Northern Football League and playing for Northampton.
Analysis, local footy and the biggest moments, Seven and 7plus are the home of footy shows for every fan. Stream them all for free on 7plus >>
In 2022 he moved back to Geelong but not strictly as a coach, instead taking advantage of his physiotherapy degree to lead the medical and fitness team.
Taylor quit that role after the Cats won last year’s grand final and once again relocated to WA.
He will now add another string to his bow within the football industry.
“He’s actually entered the player management space in what will complement his work in business,” 7NEWS Melbourne’s Mitch Cleary told Talking Finals.
Geelong legend Joel Selwood, a close friend, suggested it is a matter of time before Taylor moves on again.
“(Player management is) probably the only degree that he hasn’t ticked off or certificate he hasn’t got,” Selwood said of Taylor.
“He probably was filling in a bit of time over there in Perth (this year).
“He’s as well-rounded a person as you’ll meet. He’s just adding to his drawer at the moment.
“He would be a great player manager but I think it’s for a bigger picture.”
Although coaching is a more common path for retired players, several former footballers have become prominent player managers.
Essendon premiership players Scott Lucas and Adam Ramanauskas made the switch, as did Brett Deledio, Liam Pickering, Marty Pask and – before he lost his accreditation – Ricky Nixon.
Meanwhile, Taylor’s former club Geelong this week announced a reshuffle behind the scenes.
His ex-teammate Andrew Mackie has been promoted from list manager to football boss, with Brett Johnson tapped to be his assistant.
The pair will oversee AFL, AFLW, VFL, VFLW and list management, medical, performance, player welfare and development.
“I’m excited for this new opportunity to expand beyond list management and more broadly help to shape the football department’s ongoing growth and success,” Mackie said.
“There are already strong foundations that have been set on and off the field, and I’m looking forward to working closely with staff and players across men’s and women’s as we collectively drive our programs forward.”
Simon Lloyd has moved out of the football department and into a new role as head of commercial projects.