Western Sydney to be competitive in 2012 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Western Sydney to be competitive in 2012

By Tom Wald 28/05/2009 07:19:43 PM Comments (0)

The western Sydney team will be competitive from its very first AFL season in 2012 according to newly-appointed high performance coach Alan McConnell.

The former Fitzroy and AIS/AFL Academy coach said he had confidence that he could help build a strong-playing list in a short time if the new franchise received similar draft concessions to the Gold Coast.

"It is our intention to put out a very competitive list from the get-go so there is a fair bit to do to achieve that," he said.

"The problem at the moment is that there are no rules we are working to.

"The AFL Commission will ultimately set those up so we have got a bit of work to do in terms of working out the talent pool."

The Gold Coast start tapping into the national talent pool at the end of this season before the club's expected debut for the 2011 season.

The second Queensland team will be able to cherry pick the talent in the 2010 AFL national and rookie drafts as well as favourable zoning selections and capacity to sign uncontracted players from other clubs.

McConnell said such concessions would allow the new franchises to instantly put quality sides on the park as they can trade for experienced players from other clubs.

"There is no doubt that down the track we will need some experience to add to our list," he said.

"That is part of the reason why we will in the short term get access to more of the young talent then might ultimately finish up on our list, so that we can access some of the existing talent on an AFL list."

One of the western Sydney franchise's potential headaches is the "go home factor" that particularly plagued the Brisbane Bears and Sydney Swans in their formative years.

But McConnell believed if the set-up was right, it wouldn't be hard to keep top talent in western Sydney.

"I think if you establish a quality environment, you care about the people in it and provide them with an opportunity to be great, then what happens is that good people fundamentally stick with good organisations," he said.

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