Of the many labels that have been attached to Sam Taylor over the years, one is more important to him than any other: proud father. In conversation with the Leader, the Tamworth product spoke fondly of his eldest son, seven-year-old Leo, and their shared passion for rugby league. "He's going into the under 8s next year," Taylor said. "I've got three kids to Matt Nean's sister [Joanne], so they've got the genes in them. Leo's a pretty good player, and he runs the tee for Kooty." So, when the 2023 season ended unexpectedly for the former West Lions and Kootingal-Moonbi Roosters five-eighth, he looked to his loved ones for direction. Having played more than half of his fifth year with the Roosters, fans likely noticed when Taylor's name was suddenly omitted from their team lists starting from round 10. He was not injured, or unavailable due to work. Taylor had left the club due to some personal differences - but remains on good terms with the squad. "I haven't got a bad word to say about Kooty," Taylor said. "I was there for five years, I love them and I love the people there ... people butt heads and that's what happened, but it's all over and done with now." The 32-year-old knows he is likely headed into the final years of a long and storied rugby league journey. So he signed with the Dungowan Cowboys ahead of 2024, where close mate Trent Taylor plays, and it's there he hopes to "see my career out". But come next year, Taylor does not intend to just make up the numbers. In fact, he said, it was a conversation with Leo that inspired the veteran of 13 years of first grade footy to make his coming years some of his best. "He was a bit upset that I wasn't playing [at the end of the year]," Taylor said. "My kids are a big motivator, and hopefully I can stay injury free, touch wood, and have a big year next year. That's the plan." With his kicking ability and experience, combined with a Cowboys roster that looks to be at least as formidable as that of 2023, Taylor's expectations are high. In addition, he believes incoming co-coach and captain, Jack Cameron, to be "a freak". "I've got nothing but respect for Jack Cameron," he said. "He's probably the player in Group 4, and I'd love to play under him ... he just leads by his actions."