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Why Ash wants to be part of what Holbrook is building

Ash Taylor says he wants to extend his current deal at the Titans and be part of what he believes will be a promising future under coach Justin Holbrook.

As the Titans highest paid player, the 25-year-old five-eighth said he would "100 per cent" be prepared to take a pay cut to stay at the club in future.

That may be necessary if he is to re-sign beyond 2021 and the Gold Coast are to recruit more big-name players to join headline act David Fifita as well as Tino Fa'asuamaleaui and Herman Ese'ese.

Holbrook has been extended until the end of 2024 and Taylor wants to stay and play under him.

"It was awesome news for the coach. I think he deserves it," Taylor said.
"I’d love to be here. I love the Gold Coast and it is pretty much home for me now so I’d love to be part of the future going forward."

Match Highlights: Dragons v Titans

Taylor wants to be part of a long-term spine with half Jamal Fogarty and fullback AJ Brimson – signed until the end of 2021 and 2022 repsectively - who he referred to as "strike weapons" that complement his own game.

The trio all touched the ball to conjure the winning try for Fogarty in the 14-10 win over the Dragons.

Holbrook and assistant coaches Jim Dymock and Jimmy Lenihan have created a framework for Taylor and the spine to shine.

"They try and keep a simple game plan for myself which is to get the ball when I want the ball and run every opportunity I get," Taylor said.

"I don’t have to really think too much on the field. That is all up to Jamal. Our spine has a great combination going and we seem to know where we are going without even saying a word."

Taylor has 10 try assists in 15 games, which compares well with the competition’s leading No.6 Luke Keary, who has 13 from 14 games.

"I can get better in all areas. My defence was good [against the Dragons] but I had a couple of errors with a forward pass and a little fumble from dummy half," Taylor said.

"I just need to pull it all together and try and keep that consistency."

In 2019 Taylor considered giving the game away as he battled his own personal demons and took time away from the game.

I love the Gold Coast and it is pretty much home for me now so I’d love to be part of the future going forward.

Ash Taylor

"You talk about the tough times and I was a little bit lost last year," Taylor said.

"I am loving the game again and being in that week-in and week-out competitiveness has really brought me back to life not just on the field but off the field as well."

And it is off the field where Taylor has found great joy.

"I am loving every minute with my son. It has given me a new life," Taylor said.

"He is eight-and-a-half months old now and starting to almost crawl and say 'dad'. He is waking up and smiling at you. It gives you a new outlook on life."

Titans prop Jarrod Wallace said it was vital to keep Taylor, Fogarty and Brimson together long term.

Every try from round 16

“You can see the little connections and bond they are building," he said.

"We need to build a really good spine and build a team around that. They are young, enthusiastic and have talent coming out their ears, and they work hard. They are the guys you want to lock down."

Wallace said Taylor’s commitment to the team was unquestioned.

"The biggest thing over the last few years is that he has almost been over-committed to the team and put the team and footy first and not his health and mindset," Wallace said.

"Last year… he had to get his off the field stuff right and that is now showing on the field. He’s happy, he has a beautiful baby and he and his partner are going great. He has found his confidence."

Taylor said it was important to finish the season with momentum with the Titans targeting winning all four of their remaining games, starting with the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium on Saturday.

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