ROB Stanton knew Jets whiz-kid Clayton Taylor had "something special" about him.
Stanton was an assistant coach at Sydney FC when Taylor came through the Sky Blues academy.
Such was the production line of players, Taylor was let go by Sydney at the end of last season - a decision that disappointed Stanton and head coach Steve Corica.
The teenage attacker was snapped up by the Jets and, as fate would have it, Stanton was later also offered an opportunity in Newcastle.
"He was a player that myself and Steve really liked," Stanton said. "There was something special about him. For some reason he wasn't signed. You can't keep every player. That is nothing new. That happens all around the league. There were a lot of top players who were coming out of the program. In my eyes, he was one of the young ones who could make a difference. Obviously, everyone has different opinions. I'm happy he ended up in Newcastle."
Taylor has started every match for the Jets and produced a stand-out performance to deliver a 3-0 win over Wellington on Saturday .
The 19-year-old scored a goal, set up one and earned a penalty for the other.
He burst down the left and cut inside before playing a squad pass for Apostolos Stamatelopoulos to strike in the fourth minute.
Taylor then reacted quickest after Wellington keeper Alex Paulsen failed to clean up a Dane Ingham cross.
The highlight, however, was a powerhouse run that started inside the Jets' half and finished with Taylor getting sandwiched by two Phoenix defenders.
"It looked like there was no danger for them, then in about 10 seconds, there was a hell of a lot of danger," Stanton said. "He can do things others maybe cannot. It is hard to coach that.
"He is seven games in. He still has a lot to learn. He wants to learn and grown."
Veteran Jason Hoffman missed the trip across the Tasman due to COVID-19 and is in doubt for the round-eight clash against Perth Glory at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday.
"We are monitoring players and doing everything we can to make sure it doesn't rear its ugly head," Stanton said. "We have procedures to try and keep everyone healthy."