Adam Taylor admits he has unfinished business at the Queanbeyan Kangaroos, after signing on to replace Aaron Gorrell as head coach for next season.
More than a decade after leaving the club for the cross-town Blues, Taylor has returned with his sights firmly set on winning his first Canberra Raiders Cup premiership.
The 40-year-old played a key role in reviving the Kangaroos who failed to win a single match in 2005 and 2006. In three seasons as captain-coach, he steered the club back to the finals, before departing at the end of 2009 to join the Blues.
Taylor could only watch on as the Kangaroos broke a 25-year premiership drought under Gorrell in 2010, before making it back-to-back triumphs the following season.
"There's definitely some unfinished business there," Taylor said.
"When I came to the Roos it was an absolute mess, they hadn't won a game in two years. That was at a time when the club had a reputation of just under-achieving big heads.
"I was only 27 at the time and I've done a lot of growing up. You hear blokes say with age you get a bit smarter and learn a bit more, if I was to talk to myself back then I would've done a few different things.
"I'm chuffed to be back to where it started. Of the clubs I've been involved in, the Roos, Blues and Goulburn, they're the pick of them for me. The culture at the Roos when I left was the best and I want to continue to build that culture."
Taylor managed two seasons at the Blues before he was forced to retire with osteitis pubis. But he made a shock return in 2015, helping Goulburn to the Canberra Raiders Cup grand final that season alongside warhorse Michael Dodson, and the Picker brothers Joe, Mick and Ben.
He dislocated his shoulder in the 24-14 grand-final loss to the Blues and once again hung up the boots, although he continued to train with Goulburn for several years.
All the while he's kept his coaching fire burning by overseeing his son's junior team at the Valley Dragons.
"Coaching the kids has reinvigorated me, it's got me going again," Taylor said.
"It was good to get back and do the kids. When you're doing the adults, it's hard to change those things that they didn't learn as kids.
"I was coaching first grade players years ago who couldn't hold a ball properly, couldn't tackle properly, doing all the simple things wrong. Going back to the kids was really satisfying because I could go back and fix all that."
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Taylor's appointment comes after a busy offseason already for the Kangaroos.
Veteran clubman Troy Whiley has been named as captain-coach of reserve grade, while Alex Hildyard will take charge of the under-19s next year.
Ian Baker has also taken over as president to oversee a new-look committee.
The Kangaroos pulled out of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and loaned several players out to the Blues who opted to remain in the competition. Those players are set to return in 2021.
"We're pretty sure we'll get the players and that all comes back to the place being enjoyable," Taylor said.
"We want to make it a place where you want to be, we don't want you to be reluctantly coming to training. Now that Troy [Whiley] is back, that only helps the cause."