Welcome to World Footy News Monday, August 02 2021 @ 12:41 am ACST

Sheedy continues to push the international angle

  • Tuesday, May 11 2010 @ 12:10 am ACST
  • Contributed by:
  • Views: 1,954
General News

During his coaching reign at Essendon, coach Kevin Sheedy would periodically spruik for international development and promotion of Australian football. During his "enforced" sabbatical after being moved on by the Bombers, he took took on an ambassadorial role with the AFL, push the international angle even harder.

Now put in charge of the future Greater Western Sydney AFL side, the ever-controversial coach is in his element, promoting the need for international players, multicultural players, and stirring up everyone from the NRL (Rugby League) to Paul Roos, coach of Sydney rivals the Swans.

With Australia bidding for the soccer World Cup in 2018 and 2022, the AFL has secured agreement that the AFL season will be uninterrupted but admits alternative grounds will need to be found. Sheedy has stated what international footy fans want to hear, calling for some regular season matches to be played outside of Australia. "Take the risk and take the game overseas and get to some of those cricket grounds that are doing nothing and lying idle in other parts of the world". And he didn't stop there.

And once again he's suggested international talent is high on his agenda for Western Sydney. Sheedy said, "You would be thinking sooner or later our sloppiness not to understand there are 10 million people living off-shore of the east coast of Australia between New Guinea and New Zealand. We really should look at those island kids. We will be looking everywhere to bring player into western Sydney to make sure it is a team capable of representing our area which has 165 nations out at Blacktown. If we can find a kid from Fiji, India, New Zealand or Samoa ... if he can play, we will be looking at him."

It's clear that any talent from the South Pacific and World 18 teams at this year's NAB AFL Under 16s will be closely studied by the GWS staff.