EXCITING Sydney debutant Elijah Taylor's footy journey has already had a Hollywood start.

On arriving at the club, the 19yo was immediately presented with one of the Swans' most famous jumper numbers, and he lived with AFL superstar Lance Franklin.


Now he will play his first senior match for the club against Gold Coast at the SCG on Saturday.

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The 19-year-old Taylor moved in with Franklin when he first crossed from WA to Sydney, after being drafted with pick No.36 last year.

Buddy, a West Australian, was the perfect mentor for the young forward recruited from Perth, helping him settle into a new and bigger city like Sydney.

"Bud has been huge for me. Living with him for the first month or so, just to see how he went about it, how professional he was, opened my eyes to the way AFL football is," Taylor told AFL.com.au.

The Swans hope Taylor can add some spark to a forward line struggling in the absence of key talls Franklin and Sam Reid, and will now be without Isaac Heeney who is out for the season with an ankle injury.


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Sydney assistant coach Steve Johnson described Taylor as a "livewire" forward pocket who was handy around the goals.

Johnson has taken the new Swan under his wing, passing on plenty of the tricks he used while lighting up forward lines and winning three premierships during his 293 games with Geelong and Greater Western Sydney.

"He's got a lot of talent. We're really excited that he's progressed enough in the reserves to get his opportunity this week."

Taylor's good form in scratch matches over the past month (especially last week against Hawthorn) put him in the mix for selection.

"He kicked four goals last week, but he also added a fair bit of pressure to the forward line, so we're hoping he can bring some of that into the team this weekend," Johnson said.

Elijah Taylor during a Sydney training session at Lakeside Oval in late June. Getty Images

The 188cm, 77kg forward proved himself to be one of the most exciting prospects at last year's NAB AFL Under-18 Championships, when he played every game for the eventual winners, Western Australia. He was named an All-Australian at the end of the carnival.

The speedster will run out on Saturday with the No.37 on his back, made famous by club champion Adam Goodes.

But Taylor isn't under any pressure to follow in the footsteps of the dual Brownlow medallist.

"We'll be encouraging him to play on instinct and do what he does best, which is to go for marks, and if the opportunity is there to have a shot at goal then he shouldn't be afraid to take it," Johnson said.

"He kicks on his left and right foot, and he can also get up and take a grab. I think the fans will enjoy watching him play, hopefully for a long period of time."

The Swans' long list of injuries has opened up spots in a side that includes recent debutants Dylan Stephens and Chad Warner.

Taylor is one of four inclusions this week, along with Callum Sinclair, Aliir Aliir and Tom McCartin, as Sydney attempts to bounce back from three straight losses.