LIKE his father and grandfather before him, North Tamworth legend Luke Taylor will become a cowboy in 2013, but of a different kind.
After retiring at the end of 2011, the premiership-winning player and coach admits to having itchy feet and that is why he has signed on to captain-coach Dungowan in the Group 4 Second Division next season.
He is adamant he is still a Bear but he is happy to be a Cowboy as well.
“I will be a Bear forever,” Taylor said.
“But I can’t get footy out of my system.
“I can’t play at the level I want to play at in first grade and I don’t want to play reserve grade.
“Plus I have a few old mates who want to have a run as well.
“Dungowan are a great bunch of blokes and it will be good to be involved with them.”
Taylor is looking forward to helping the Cowboys get back into contention for the premiership.
The club has been stuck near the bottom of the ladder since winning the title in 2009 but Taylor is keen to make the short trip out to the valley and turn that around.
“I’ve been mates with the Tongue boys for a long time, ever since school,” Taylor said.
“And I know a few other blokes out there.
“Plus, being a cowboy sounds pretty good. My father and grandfather were both on the rodeo circuit for years and this will be the closest I ever come to that.”
Taylor won four premierships in first grade with North, two of those as captain-coach.
The second division will be a different kind of challenge.
Little separates the teams in the second division but, of course, the standard isn’t as high as first grade.
“It’s a strong comp at the moment,” Taylor said.
“To be honest I’ve always been first division through and through the whole time.
“I’d like to see first division improve out of sight.
“But a lot of blokes, especially coming to the end of their footy, want to play in the second division comp.
“First division struggles to get five teams and it looks like in the second division we could have 10, plus there’s less travel and first division isn’t as strong as it should be.
“In saying that, I will always be a Bear and I will go back to that club.
“But it will be good to work with some keen people (at Dungowan).”
The hope at Dungowan is that Taylor’s signing will also attract some other talented footballers to build on the depth of this year’s squad.
Taylor said that is something he should be able to deliver, with a few “good signings” already in the pipeline.