MELBOURNE'S new recruiting manager Jason Taylor is rapt the Demons have secured promising New Zealander Maia Westrupp on an international scholarship.

Not only does the 18-year-old from Whakatane on New Zealand's North Island have enough athletic talent to make him a worthwhile investment, Taylor said the club's initiative reflected the capacity of the Demons' off-field team to make things happen.

But because Taylor sits on the same reality bus as coach Mark Neeld, he is wary about overstating what Westrupp – a talented junior tennis, volleyball and rugby player – might deliver in time.

However, he saw enough on his recent trip to New Zealand to be convinced the 187cm, 75kg Westrupp had every chance of being successful.

"Maia showed some exciting athletic capabilities – enough to suggest that we bring him down for a trial," Taylor told "He ticked a few boxes and we're pleased to have signed him."

It makes Melbourne the second club, after Hawthorn, to sign a player from New Zealand on an international scholarship and is the first signing the club has made since Taylor arrived as national recruiting manager.

You won't hear Taylor taking the credit though. The decision is, he says, a reflection on the approach of the recruiting team now at Melbourne and the confidence they have in the football department's ability to develop talent.

The beefed-up recruiting team now includes Taylor, Gary Burleigh, Tim Lamb and Darren Farrugia, with Kelly O'Donnell as pro scout, Tim Harrington as general manager of list development and Todd Viney supporting and guiding the decision making process. The group also reports to a list management committee.

That approach is part of the reason Taylor – who joined the club in late December – is willing to take on the vital role after crossing from Collingwood.

After learning under master recruiter John Beveridge at St Kilda and then joining Collingwood in 2008, Taylor is ready for the challenge.

The experience under Hine at the Magpies has him well prepared.

"He [Hine] gave me really strong opportunities to learn if I embraced it," Taylor said.

Above all he learned that teamwork and strong communication across the organisation was important.

"Successful organisations have great communication throughout their department which creates that learning environment," Taylor said.

Taylor watches football with an acute eye, searching for things he values in players, quietly noting things he sees. Footy smarts, he says, is top of the tree when it comes to the things that impress him.

"I do really look for football smarts, running patterns, clean hands, those fundamentals of the game. And you have to be able to run a bit," Taylor said.

Such things the eye can see but Taylor knows that to prosper in AFL football a player also needs to be competitive and resilient enough to withstand the day-to-day rigours of AFL football. That's been Melbourne's objective since Neeld took over and the reshaping of the list has reflected that goal.

Now Taylor sees himself as part of a team continually assessing the list and its requirements. But no judgment he makes is hasty. He said he sees improvement among players every day and it is important to continually refine judgments over the course of the year and then make decisions, in consultation with the list management committee, at the appropriate time.

Taylor said Melbourne did a good job in the off-season balancing the need to bring in both experience and youthful talent but admits the Demons can still get better in every part of the ground.

Building the foundation for future success will continue.

"You need to see incremental improvement in the list this year," Taylor said.

"You need to build a list and put together a group of people who will be able to consistently challenge for top four. That has got to built over time and built in a way that will test your nerve, your patience and your strategies."

With a lifetime in football behind him and eight years involved in the AFL, Taylor has no hesitation in explaining what attracted him to the Demons.

They had a goal worth chasing, one the entire recruiting team takes seriously.

"The attraction to the Melbourne Football Club was the fact that they have not been able to taste premiership success since 1964," Taylor said.