GWS crowds will take a generation: Sheedy
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Greater Western Sydney coach Kevin Sheedy believes his AFL club shouldn’t be alarmed by the modest turnout for their first match at the revamped Showground Stadium.
Despite an intriguing subplot of Sheedy matching wits with James Hird, GWS attracted a crowd of only 11,887 to the 25,000-seat stadium at Sydney’s Olympic Park on Saturday night.
It was the Giants’ first home game in Sydney since April 15 and against Essendon, a team ordinarily capable of drawing a decent crowd – let alone when they’re in fine form and taking on Sheedy, a much-loved figure among fans for his 27 seasons of service.
While the Bombers’ supporters turned up – earlier in the week, 30 per cent of tickets were snaffled by Victorians – there wasn’t the sea of orange many GWS officials would have hoped for.
But Sydney is a city known for fickle sports fans who crave success, and Sheedy says it will take time for his club to prove themselves.
“We’ve got no right to come into Sydney and expect everybody to turn up because we have,” Sheedy said after his side’s 66-point loss.
“That’s the good part about building the club – earning respect. It will take a generation.
“We need people in Sydney following the Swans and the Giants and knowing that they’re the two clubs representing AFL.”
The AFL scheduling Sydney’s Etihad Stadium clash with St Kilda as Saturday’s twilight match was a major mitigating factor. With no buffer between the games, anyone with a major interest in the Swans’ fixture would have stayed away.© AAP 2013
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