WHEN Taylor Adams departed Greater Western Sydney at the end of last season, one thing was central as the midfielder decided which Victorian club would be the right fit for him.
It was about where he could play finals quickly.
He eventually joined Collingwood, in a direct swap for Heath Shaw, and is in reach of achieving his aim in his first season with the Magpies.
"That was a big factor. I really wanted to play finals immediately and we're going in the right direction to do that now," Adams told AFL.com.au.
The 20-year-old has played an important role in getting the club to this stage, and did again on Sunday, when he gathered 28 disposals in Collingwood's six-point win over Port Adelaide.
The victory put the Magpies into eighth position on the ladder, and snapped a poor run of form which saw the Pies lose five of their six previous games.
"Obviously five losses out of six games isn't great, but it's a great feeling to win, and we've still got a long way to go in the season to keep our finals hopes alive. But that's the first stepping stone and a great start," Adams said.
"For a majority of the game I thought our contested ball and our pressure and intent was really good.
"Obviously they're a quality side, they move the ball so well and play a really fast brand of footy so our defence was under pressure a fair bit of the time. I thought we held up really well.
"They're the ones you really want to win. We know how it feels to lose those ones but it was a great effort by the boys. To get the win is a real thrill."
After two years at the Giants, where he played in a total of three wins, Adams has enjoyed his new surrounds at Collingwood, watching and working alongside Scott Pendlebury, Dayne Beams, Luke Ball and other established midfielders at the club.
Settling in to a new game style has been a challenge at times, but he feels his personal skills – working and running hard, winning the inside ball and doing it over and over – are suited to Collingwood's style.
The evidence suggests it is, given Adams has averaged 24 disposals in his past seven games.
"There's a lot more pressure playing down in Melbourne at the biggest club, but I don't really read too much into it. I go out there and do my best every week, I go out there every week," he said.
"I train as hard as I can and do everything off the track to make myself better. You do notice the pressure but I try not to think about it when I'm out there."