Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Happy birthday to..........Jason Taylor

The Western Suburbs magpie family wish Jason a happy birthday on Feb 2.

Jason was a skillful but slightly built goalkicking halfback who was one of the first of a batch of locals who rose from the junior ranks of the new Western Suburbs juniors based in the Liverpool/Campbelltown region. He originally played for Green Valley and Ashcroft before spending his final year of high school at St Gregorys College, Campbelltown where in 1989, he was a member of the side's win in the Commonwealth Bank Cup Schoolboys competition and winning the player of the series award. He was also a member of the Australian Schoolboys side that year.

Jason made his first grade debut for Western Suburbs in round 1 1990 against Brisbane coming off the bench. He had his run on debut for the magpies in round 3 1990 against Newcastle. He played 86 first grade games for the magpies between 1990-1993 scoring 6 tries, 225 goals and 12 field goals. Tensions between Jason and Wests coach, Warren Ryan arose when Jason was dropped from first grade andthis led to Jason leaving the magpies to join North Sydney in 1994. He played for the bears and the joint venture Northern Eagles from 1994 to 2000 before finishing his career with deserved Grand Final appearance with Parramatta in 2001.

In all, Jason played 276 first grade games scoring 47 tries, 942 goals and 35 field goals for a tally of 2107 points which at the time, was a record for the NSWRL/ARL/NRL competition which included an astonishing run of 194 consecutive games in first grade between 1992 to 2000.

Jason was also Western Suburb's leading pointscorer from 1990-93. He was the competition's highest point scorer in 1996 (238) and 1997 (242) as well as winning the prestiges Rothmans Medal in 1996. Jason represented NSW at State of Origin in 1993 whilst with the magpies coming off the bench in 2 games that year.

After retirement as a player, the coaching bug bit Jason and he started coaching lower grade at Parramatta eventually becoming coach of the Parramatta Premier League side (now called NSW Cup) winning the2005 premiership. He was an assistant coach to Brian Smith at the eels and was appointed caretaker first grade coach during the 2006 season after Brian left the club. He had already agreed to join Souths as their assistant coach in 2007 but was quickly elevated to the head coach role and guided Souths to the semi finals in 2007, their first appearance in finals since 1989. Jason however was dismissed as Souths coach after the 2009 season and was appointed as a kicking coach by the Sydney Roosters in 2010 before being promoted to the Sydney Roosters Toyota Cup U20 head coach in 2011.

Happy birthday Jason.

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