Sheedy admits to interest in Akermanis - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sheedy admits to interest in Akermanis

By Guy Hand 26/07/2006 07:18:28 PM Comments (0)

Essendon has officially entered the chase for Jason Akermanis, but Melbourne wants no part in speculation surrounding Brisbane's unsettled star until the end of the AFL season.

Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy confirmed his struggling club would consider recruiting Akermanis if Brisbane was prepared to trade the Brownlow Medallist.

Sheedy has never met Akermanis despite the midfielder helping the Lions to victory over his Bombers in the 2001 grand final.

But the veteran coach admitted he would be keen for a chat if Brisbane did offer up Akermanis at season's end, though Sheedy said the fact he was contracted until the end of 2007 at the Lions was a concern.

"I've never met him ... that doesn't mean you won't," Sheedy said cryptically.

"If the player's up for grabs and Brisbane's going to trade him or cut him off the list, then obviously you should (meet him), or your supporters would be asking `why wouldn't you be?'

"He would attract Essendon - of course he would. He's a good player."

Essendon and Brisbane clash at Telstra Dome on Saturday night, with Sheedy to return to coaching duties after shoulder surgery forced him to hand over the reins last weekend.

But Akermanis won't play as the Lions have stood him down until the end of the season after testing the club's patience with his media outbursts once too often.

Essendon would have plenty to offer in any trade with Brisbane - the Bombers seemingly bound for this season's wooden spoon and a priority draft pick which should give them three draft selections in the top 20.

Bombers skipper Matthew Lloyd has also given any Akermanis bid the thumbs-up, saying this week his club would be crazy not to consider recruiting him on football ability.

Richmond has also expressed interest should Akermanis be offered in post-season trading.

But the Tigers say they won't give up early draft picks to sign any senior player.

Melbourne, the club tipped most likely to chase Akermanis if he does leave Brisbane, was keeping its powder dry.

Coach Neale Daniher refused to throw his side's hat in the ring, saying that was a decision for the end of the season.

Daniher is mindful the third-placed Demons are a realistic chance of winning the premiership and doesn't want trade talk to derail his side's flag ambitions.

"It's interesting hearing other clubs talking - I thought he'd been ruled out by other clubs," Daniher said of the speculation surrounding Akermanis.

"We'll look at all the options at the end of the year.

"Jason can't impact on any club other than Brisbane `til next year and we don't want to get caught up in the roving commentary.

"We'll have a look at all the options at the end of the year and make sure we keep our focus."

Earlier, Federal Treasurer and AFL Essendon tragic Peter Costello says he would welcome the sight of Akermanis in red and black.

Mr Costello said the 2001 Brownlow medallist would be an asset to any Melbourne-based AFL club if they wanted to sign him at the end of the season.

The dumped Brisbane Lions onballer is on a temporary leave of absence for the rest of the AFL season.

"I'd take Akermanis, yes I would," Mr Costello told Southern Cross Broadcasting.

"I think he has a good career in front of him.

"A bloke like that can come on and kick three goals on the burst every game, I'd take him for all of his antics."

Essendon looks set to take the wooden spoon after a disastrous season, but the treasurer has predicted better things to come in 2007.

"Well we have lost 14 (games) but we drew last week ... we've bottomed and we're about to come back," he said.

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