It is hardly a coincidence that a surge up the National Premier Leagues (NPL) Queensland ladder by Cairns FC has come on the back of the sparkling run of goalscoring form by striker Josh Taylor.
Not so long ago the northernmost club in the competition was struggling along just out of the relegation zone.
In the twinkle of an eye Cairns now sit seventh on the ladder after four wins from their last five games heading into a big match against Brisbane City at Corporate Travel Management Park on Saturday night.
Leading the revival has been Taylor, who has scored eight goals in the last six matches, including a hat-trick in a 5-1 last-up win away to Redlands United.
In those six games that Taylor struck, Cairns have risen from a point off the relegation zone to a position of relative safety 10 points clear.
So Brisbane City better be wary if Taylor finds the net again this weekend.
Born in Victoria and reared on the Central Coast of New South Wales near Newcastle, Taylor is looming as a possible Golden Boot winner this season.
He has 15 to his name and sits second behind star Western Pride marksman Dylan Wenzel-Halls who has 22.
But Wenzel-Halls has signed with Brisbane Roar and his NPL campaign is over.
“I need eight goals in eight games to beat him,” Taylor said of his chances of snatching the coveted individual award.
“I’m in probably the best form I’ve been in for a long time, myself and Chris O’Hare. I think he has scored in the last four games as well.
“Brisbane City are going to be a tough test for us.
“They’ve had a good run of form and when they came to Cairns early in the season they sort of taught us a lesson and beat us 3-1.
“But we have a few new players and our form is much better. Everyone is confident that we can beat anyone on our day.”
For Cairns to make an unlikely dash at the finals they have to get through a tough campaign.
They play Brisbane City, then the Brisbane Strikers in Cairns followed by a catch-up fixture, against Brisbane Strikers again.
How Taylor landed in the tropical north is a story in itself.
When he moved to Brisbane for a university degree he played for the Strikers.
He began a paramedics degree but employment opportunities in that area were limited so he bit the bullet and returned to university for a course in school teaching.
“I ended up loving it,” Taylor said.
What followed was a three-year stint doing compulsory rural service in Innisfail, just south of Cairns, where he became player-coach of the local United side in the Far North Queensland Premier League.
His rural duties complete, Taylor then landed a job at the Cairns State High School and joined Cairns FC.
It has been a roller-coaster time at the club, highlighted by what Taylor describes as a crazy FFA Cup campaign.
Cairns are into the Cup round of 32 in bizarre circumstances after a series of nail-biting wins.
“The Cup has been ridiculous,” he said.
“In the local qualifier against Southside Comets we were two down in the 90th minute and managed two goals in two minutes and we ended up winning 4-3 in extra time.
“We beat Townsville, then played Mackay last weekend and we were down 3-0 at half-time.
“We then scored five goals in the second half in 15 minutes to win. It has been crazy.”
Now Cairns FC await the Cup Round of 32 draw which takes place next Tuesday night and understandably Taylor would love to get a match against one of the competition’s lesser lights.
But having a Hyundai A-League heavyweight in the tropical far north would be excellent, Taylor says.
“A home game against Melbourne Victory or Sydney FC, that’d be great for the region,” he said.
Words: Terry Wilson