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Taylor playing with freedom

Michael Whiting, AFL Media  July 6, 2018 2:00 PM

Taylor: It's come around quick Lewis Taylor will be lining up for his 100th AFL game this weekend.

Brisbane Lions livewire Lewy Taylor says Coach Chris Fagan has given him a freedom to play with that has unlocked his best football.

Taylor will play his 100th game on Saturday against Carlton and says Fagan has had a huge influence on him since coming to the Lions at the end of 2016.

After winning the NAB Rising Star in 2014, Taylor's form slowly degenerated over the following two seasons.

He was hesitant, inconsistent and seemed to complicate the game too much.

Then Fagan arrived.

"I had a really good pre-season and spoke with 'Fages' about where I could improve," Taylor recalled.

"It just got back to what I could do best and that was to play some footy. It was great that he sat down one-on-one with every player.

"If you see an option, hit it, there's no set structure with offence, just play footy and hit what you can and take the easy option.

"I felt like that was very helpful to me to just go out there and play."

With his new mindset in place, Taylor had a superb 2017, finishing seventh in the Club's best and fairest, kicking 17 goals, assisting on 19 others and averaging close to 20 disposals. 

He's backed it up this season too, kicking 11 goals and assisting on 13 through 14 games.

Sometimes he's now too unselfish, like against Essendon in Round 12 where he tried to pinpoint a pass to Dan McStay rather than kick a 25m goal on the run, but that's an easy problem to fix.

While Fagan and his coaching staff have had a lot of individual development success stories – including Darcy Gardiner and Nick Robertson among others – Taylor is perhaps the most striking.

"The improvement's there. There are exciting times ahead," Taylor said.

"It's been great having Fages come in … I couldn't be happier that he's the coach of the Brisbane Lions."

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