Sheedy backs GWS’s tall timber
Kevin Sheedy is intrigued at the prospect of finally unleashing the three-headed AFL attacking monster that could make the Giants live up to their name.
With 197cm No.1 draft pick Jonathon Patton poised to make his debut against Richmond on Saturday after a minor injury scare at training on Wednesday, Greater Western Sydney coach Sheedy potentially has the option of throwing him in alongside 196cm Jeremy Cameron and 193cm Israel Folau.
“They are three extremely talented young key tall players that have the ability to eventually take this club forward,” Sheedy said.
Asked whether it was practical to toss all three into the forward line, Sheedy said: “Whether it’s practical or not we’ll find out, but we’re going to try it.”
He wasn’t able to look at the trio together on Wednesday.
Folau, who is coming back from a hamstring injury, didn’t train, though Sheedy rates the league convert an 80-20 chance of facing the Tigers.
Sheedy’s faith in tall timber is based on his experiences at Essendon, where he had Paul Van der Haar, Paul Salmon and Roger Merrett in the 1980s and Matthew Lloyd and Scott Lucas working together as forward spearheads at the turn of the century.
“The taller players generally win the game in the end like (Geelong’s) Tom Hawkins did last year in the grand final,” Sheedy said.
“When everybody started to slow up and everybody got a little bit tired, big Tom Hawkins ended up coming out and saying ‘thank you very much, move out of my way’.
“I still believe that two or three top-class tall players with a little bit of ferocity in their play will stand the test of time in the AFL, no matter what tactics evolve during the year.”
AFL rookie Folau, who has invariably been marked by one of the opposing team’s best key defenders, was looking forward to benefiting from Patton’s imposing presence.
“It’s definitely going to take a lot of pressure off me,” Folau said.
Asked to assess his first half-season in the AFL, Folau said: “I’ve got to be happy with some of the things that I’ve done during the games I’ve been playing, but again it’s just a big learning curve for me.”© AAP 2013