Giants set to announce Sheedy succession
The legendary AFL coaching career of Kevin Sheedy appears to have an end point, with Greater Western Sydney expected to announce a succession plan.
On Thursday, the Giants are set to confirm Leon Cameron as their new assistant coach and he will also eventually take over from Sheedy in the senior role.
That will probably happen in 2014.
While nothing would surprise with Sheedy, he will turn 66 at the end of next year.
The Giants gave Sheedy a one-year contract extension in August and soon after senior assistant Mark Williams left the Giants for a development role at Richmond.
Greater Western Sydney said Williams was leaving one year before his contract expired for family reasons, but Sheedy conceded his reappointment for 2013 might have had a bearing on Williams’s exit.
“That decision has probably frustrated him,” Sheedy said.
Williams’ departure opened up a spot and Cameron, currently an assistant at Hawthorn, flew to Sydney on Wednesday for talks with the Giants.
It has since emerged that Cameron’s appointment will have far bigger implications, with the Giants deciding he will also be the man to succeed Sheedy.
This would be Cameron’s first AFL senior coaching appointment.
At the other end of the scale, Sheedy has an iconic status in the game for his many achievements.
He started his senior coaching career at Essendon in 1981 and had an epic 27-year reign at the Bombers.
Sheedy masterminded the end of their 19-year premiership drought with the 1984 flag.
He also coached them to the `85, `93 and 2000 premierships.
Apart from his coaching ability, Sheedy became one of the game’s biggest personalities with his left-field thinking, dry sense of humour and ability to promote the game.
The famed “back pocket plumber” in his playing days at Richmond was also never afraid to ruffle feathers with his comments.
He played a pivotal role in bringing more indigenous players into the AFL.
Essendon decided not to renew Sheedy’s contract, although he stayed until the end of the 2007 season.
In late 2009, he signed a three-year deal to coach the Giants, the AFL’s newest team.
He was the perfect choice to be the inaugural coach of a club trying to establish themselves in a region without a traditional AFL background.
While the Giants have not been successful on the field, Sheedy’s personality and flair for publicity have made him their top marketing tool.
Sheedy has coached 657 AFL matches, putting him third on the all-time list behind Jock McHale and Mick Malthouse.© AAP 2013
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