Sheedy bears no ill will towards Bombers
Kevin Sheedy bears no ill will towards his former AFL club Essendon who he says have regained their mojo.
The Greater Western Sydney mentor is preparing to coach against the Bombers for the first time on Saturday in the Giants’ first game at Skoda Stadium.
Sheedy piloted the Bombers to four AFL premierships in 27 years before being axed in favour of Matthew Knights.
“Any coach that has been allowed to coach a club for 27 years, you’re blessed and I always felt that way,” Sheedy said on Wednesday.
“Particularly if you actually got to coach the club that you barracked for when you were a little 10-year-old, that’s pretty good stuff.”
Sheedy was adamant Saturday night’s clash between the high-flying Bombers and his first-year expansion club would not be an emotional occasion.
“Not really, I’ve been five years out of Essendon,” Sheedy said.
“I spent about 13 years out of Essendon in a mindset of black and yellow in Tigerland (as a three-time Richmond premiership player).”
He was full of praise for the current Essendon team and a coaching panel headed by two of his favourite former players and premiership captains in James Hird and Mark Thompson.
“With all the staff there and the ex-Bomber players they went and got back to the club they’ve got a great plan,” Sheedy said.
“It’s a great opportunity to get Essendon back in the big ballpark because they were absolutely losing it there for a while.
“They are playing very attacking football which is important and I think that’s great because they are building a young side.
“They are going places, there’s no doubt about that.”
In Hird’s second season in charge since replacing the sacked Knights, the Bombers sit in third spot on the ladder with a 7-1 win-loss record.
Sheedy described joining GWS as “the best thing that’s happened in my life”.
“It’s very exciting to find a homestead on the Parramatta River for 50 young Australians, to give them the chance to assist the Swans getting AFL better in this town,” Sheedy said.
“Right now starting to be a game every week in Sydney, that’s enormous from where we were.”
He anticipated up to eight changes for the Giants this weekend, with several rested players set to return.
Giants’ chief executive David Matthews was hooping for a crowd of 18-20,000 in the redeveloped 25,000 capacity stadium, with around 30 per cent of tickets snapped up by travelling fans from Victoria.© AAP 2013
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