Folau to ‘brain’ AFL: Sheedy
Greater Western Sydney coach Kevin Sheedy says Israel Folau will definitely stay with the Giants in 2013 and predicts the former rugby league star will “absolutely brain” the AFL next year.
Folau will return to the team on Sunday against Adelaide in Sydney after being sidelined by a hamstring issue for several weeks.
Sheedy was absolutely adamant Folau will still be with the Giants in 2013 despite continued speculation of a return to rugby league and his struggle to adapt to AFL.
Used primarily as a forward, he has kicked 1.5 in seven games.
“He will be playing (this weekend) and he’ll be playing next year, too,” Sheedy said on Wednesday.
“He’ll probably play really well from here on until the end of the season and then absolutely brain them next year and David Parkin can go and have a cappuccino in Carlton and relax,” he added, in reference to the AFL legend who has been a vocal critic of Folau’s form.
Sheedy was able to smile about comments from media personality and former rugby league star Matthew Johns, urging Folau to return to the 13-a-side game.
“I like Matty Johns – Matty Johns is a character. I just can’t believe that he hasn’t written a letter saying ‘thanks for getting Izzy out of the Queensland State of Origin team’!
“He mustn’t write letters!
“If he had have thanked me, I might have got Johnathan Thurston or someone like that and really got NSW over the line.”
Folau might not get to play alongside boom youngsters Jeremy Cameron and Jonathon Patton on the Giants forward line this weekend, but Sheedy said it would happen at some stage this season.
“I’m not quite sure Patton will play (this weekend), because he’s a player that’s missed a pre-season and hasn’t played a lot of footy but, at some stage this year, they will all play (together),” Sheedy said.
He revealed he was poised to blood even more youngsters over the closing weeks of the Giants inaugural AFL campaign.
“We’ll play another three or four first-gamers in the next month, so we’ll nearly play every player on the Giants list,” Sheedy said.
“We’ll probably play 35 players in the end and that’s a significant pathway for the success of the future of this club.”
He was delighted Rising Star favourite Cameron was cleared by the tribunal of a striking charge.
“The club did a magnificent job to go down to Melbourne to put on the table that this player really didn’t harm anybody. It was clumsy – there was no doubt about that,” Sheedy said.© AAP 2013