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Taylor made for down back

Ben Guthrie - AFL Media  December 20, 2017 8:53 AM

AFL 2017 Round 23 - Geelong v GWS Giants

Chris Scott says Harry Taylor will return to his normal role down back

GEELONG is preparing to play Harry Taylor as a permanent defender in 2018, putting the trial of him as the second-tall forward option on the backburner.

Taylor spent the majority of last season playing in attack after a pre-season where he dedicated himself to honing his forward craft and learning the intricacies of an area of the ground he had seldom ventured.

Scott confirmed Taylor, 31, would resume his customary post in defence, with his return to the backline critical in a defensive unit that has lost 489 games of collective experience following Tom Lonergan and Andrew Mackie's departures.

"The intention is to play him back, I don't think that's any great secret," Scott said.

"The way the chess pieces look at the moment it's logical for Taylor to go back and really throw it open to who is going best in that second key forward position."

The decision to push Taylor forward got off to an inauspicious start last year with the star defender going goalless from his first four games before he finally broke the duck against St Kilda in round five.

By the end of the season, the two-time All Australian defender had booted 22 goals from 25 matches.

That included two bags of five goals against the Western Bulldogs and Adelaide in rounds nine and 18 and four majors in an instrumental best afield role opposed to Alex Rance in round 21.

Scott said the Cats would not necessarily have to play a traditional key forward to partner with Tom Hawkins.

Rhys Stanley, Wylie Buzza and Stewart Crameri are the players vying for those forward spots, with Patrick Dangerfield and Gary Ablett also expected to spend some time playing deep forward.

"Really, we'll throw it open to who is going best in that second key forward position," Scott said.

"There's a strong argument to say that you don't even need to play a traditional second key forward or a third key forward, but we do think we've got a few of those hybrid types anyway.

"The argument around whether you should go tall or forward is probably not articulating it perfectly.

"It's whether you're prepared to go a little more immobile to get some benefits in the air or do you want to go really mobile – the height, to a large extent, is irrelevant."