Sheedy turns attention to life after AFL

By Rob Forsaith,

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    Life after football is a foreign concept to Greater Western Sydney coach Kevin Sheedy. It’s no surprise given the AFL has been his life for so long.

    Sheedy is almost halfway through his 29th and final AFL/VFL season as head coach, having started his involvement with elite football prior to man landing on the moon.

    Unlike when he left Essendon, the four-time premiership coach views this exit more as his coaching swansong.

    While nursing his youngsters through a season that has so far tallied 10 losses, most of them one-sided, Sheedy has sharpened his focus on the fledging club’s future.

    He recently revealed recruitment could be the next venture after handing over the reins to right-hand man Leon Cameron at season’s end.

    The expectation is GWS will retain Sheedy in some capacity, ensuring they reap the benefit of his vast experience and sizeable promotional worth.

    “We are currently in discussions with Kevin about a role for next year and beyond but we have said that we would like him to remain with the club,” GWS chief executive Dave Matthews says.

    “The exact nature of his role is still being determined but we think he has a role to play as we continue to build the club.”

    Sheedy is not the perfunctory sort. The `ideas man’ plans on getting his hands dirty if he stays in Sydney’s west.

    “(Recruitment) is an area that has to be worked on still,” Sheedy told AAP.

    “With the talent base at our academies, we’ve got to get that better … you only have to look at what we missed out on before we got here,” Sheedy added, highlighting the origins of West Coast star Nic Naitanui and Hawthorn’s Luke Breust and Isaac Smith.

    “There’s talent out there in our zone. We’ve just got to make sure our process of capturing it is tightened and compacted.”

    It’s not just the grassroots approach Sheedy wants to finetune.

    He has plans for the next draft, the next trading period, and a marquee signing he hopes will make a Tony Lockett-like impact on the Sydney landscape.

    And as always with Sheedy, he’s still thinking outside the box.

    Unperturbed by Israel Folau’s exit after one unsuccessful AFL season, Sheedy wants to cast the net wide and sign others who are currently foreigners to the code.

    “We should really look at an American athlete or two. I think there’s more than enough basketballers in America that don’t play NBA,” Sheedy said.

    “Is it right? Can we do it? Is it a possibility? We’ll sit down as a club in the next month or two and work it out.

    “I think there’s also opportunities looking at other sports in Australia – there’s talented athletes who aren’t going to get into their respective national teams.

    “So there might be one or two there that we can look at. All those sorts of ideas have got to be put on the table.”

    The Giants will also continue to be connected to Lance Franklin, if the champion forward can be prised away from Hawthorn on a megabucks deal.

    Whether or not Sheedy’s sitting at GWS’s table – or at least their recruitment meetings alongside Graeme Allan and Stephen Silvagni – next year remains uncertain.

    But one thing is clear. Sheedy will be involved in football until the day he dies.

    “I don’t think I’ll retire,” the 65-year-old said.

    “I’m not a person that rushes over to play golf and potter around. If I want to do that I just go to my garden.”

    AAP rf/jds/jms

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (14)

    • June 5th 2013 @ 10:06am
      Chairman Kaga said | June 5th 2013 @ 10:06am | ! Report

      He certainly put the Giants on the map in New South Wales. They are the most talked about topic on this forum whenever they are brought up. A polarising topic which is wonderful for the AFL. Afterall what is worse than being talked about is not being talked about.

      His idea to start up a 3rd Sydney metro club in the southern parts should be the next challenge for Sheedy.

      • June 5th 2013 @ 12:46pm
        muzzo said | June 5th 2013 @ 12:46pm | ! Report

        Is that why GWS sell out every game? Oh wait they don’t, they even give away most of their tickets.

        It’s time to put Sheedy on the ice float and send him out to sea.

        • June 5th 2013 @ 1:26pm
          GoGWS said | June 5th 2013 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

          Yeah it is demoralising for Giants to have crowds that are so much smaller than their neighbouring NRL teams…oh wait that’s right, the Giants crowds are about the same. Seriously, enjoy the early establishment years of the Giants while you can – in 3 seasons they’ll be top 8 and pulling the sort of crowds that NRL clubs in the region would love to pull. The Giants have a great list, just very inexperienced and young bodies…in the medium/long term they’ll come good and when they do watch the crowds double.

          • June 5th 2013 @ 4:48pm
            andyincanberra said | June 5th 2013 @ 4:48pm | ! Report

            Agree, get in on the ground floor. Don’t be a bandwagon jumper.

          • June 6th 2013 @ 10:10am
            davo willmot said | June 6th 2013 @ 10:10am | ! Report

            West Sydney will never tqke to dropsy fumbles dropping the pill is offensive

          • June 6th 2013 @ 10:25am
            clipper said | June 6th 2013 @ 10:25am | ! Report

            While it is demoralising for GWS to have such low crowds, spare a though the the Broncos in London. League wanted to expand out of the ‘M5’ heartland to London and they struggle to get 2k to a home game – in a city of 10 million.

      • June 5th 2013 @ 2:58pm
        fishes said | June 5th 2013 @ 2:58pm | ! Report

        The delusion is comical. Yeah he has become a real darling of Sydney, hasn’t he? The fans have really warmed to him and he has really warmed to the fans (lol). And I don’t think the AFL need any more teams. I think 50% of games with $1.01-$17 odds every week is enough, don’t you think?

    • June 5th 2013 @ 1:00pm
      Pat said | June 5th 2013 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

      Time for Kev to pack up the straight jacket and ride off back to Bleak City. The poor old fella is delusional.

    • June 5th 2013 @ 4:21pm
      Rooboy said | June 5th 2013 @ 4:21pm | ! Report

      Sheedy should hand the clipboard and magnets to Leon now, and see if he can salvage anything from the wreckage of this year.

      His promotional/mentoring role is well and truly finished.

      Cameron needs to be seen in charge, he’s going to be there for a few years and should roll his sleeves up now, not next season.

    • June 5th 2013 @ 6:41pm
      Pat said | June 5th 2013 @ 6:41pm | ! Report

      His promotion is a disaster – highlighting the perceived deficiencies of Sydney’s more popular sports to hide the inadequacies of your own is not going to cut in big bad Sydney – back to Melbourne for the old fella.

    • Roar Rookie

      June 5th 2013 @ 11:05pm
      Ralph Nadeer said | June 5th 2013 @ 11:05pm | ! Report

      I believe Sheedy is going to work for the Immigration department when he finishes up at GWS, to help new Australians understand AFL is better than soccer and they must follow GWS instead of WSW.

    • June 6th 2013 @ 10:16am
      davo willmot said | June 6th 2013 @ 10:16am | ! Report

      in west sydney sheedy is everywhere heard him on the radio selling dentures, that should get lots of new fans

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