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Duryea playing on instinct

PF: Duryea in the rooms Taylor Duryea spoke to HawksTV following Hawthorn's 3 point win over Port Adelaide in the Preliminary Final.
Taylor Duryea of the Hawks and Jay Schulz of the Power in action during the AFL 2014 Second Preliminary Final match between the Hawthorn Hawks and Port Adelaide Power at the MCG, Melbourne on September 20, 2014. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Taylor Duryea of the Hawks and Jay Schulz of the Power in action during the AFL 2014 Second Preliminary Final match between the Hawthorn Hawks and Port Adelaide Power at the MCG, Melbourne on September 20, 2014. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)

HAWTHORN youngster Taylor Duryea says not over-thinking his footy has helped him produce some of his best form in the finals.

Duryea, who played 18 matches in his debut season last year missed out on selection for the finals but he’s made his mark in 2014.

The 23 year old has played in all but two matches this season but has saved his best for the finals.

Averaging 15.4 disposals and 4.5 marks as a small defender, Duryea has stuck to what has helped him get to this position, and that’s playing on instinct with an uninhibited attack on the footy.

“I feel like with the guidance of some of the older guys I’ve been able to go in with a pretty clear mindset,” Duryea told hawthornfc.com.au about this year’s finals series.

“They said it was nothing different (to other games) and it really isn’t.

“I play my best if I play on instinct and don’t second-guess myself, whether that’s going for a spoil or for a mark.

“It’s just a matter of playing to my strengths.

“A lot of guys are similar to me – if you play the way you grew up playing, where some things come naturally to you, then you’re going to play pretty well.”

And he has.

Duryea has achieved a good mix of lockdown defence and attack, with his penetrating kick another weapon to add to the Hawks’ artillery.

He picked up 13 disposals at 84.6 per cent efficiency against Port Adelaide in Saturday’s nail-biting Preliminary Final win, while he also had five one percenters – the second most of any Hawk on the day – and kicked a goal.

But while a Grand Final berth is on the horizon, the young Hawk isn’t getting caught up in the excitement or the glory of it all.

Whether a premiership is at stake or not, Duryea, like his teammates just wants to do his little bit.

“I’m just trying to do my little bit for the team. It sounds cliché I know but I can’t really give you much else,” he said.

“It’s about doing my bit for the side because if I do that and every other defender also does that and each player tries their best for the team, then we’ll get the result most of the time.

“We hold each other responsible and accountable to that role.”