Harley to join GWS as consultant - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Harley to join GWS as consultant

04/12/2009 08:17:56 PM Comments (0)

Soon after AFL chairman Mike Fitzpatrick first dropped the expansion bombshell early last year, Tom Harley saw his opportunity.

A half-serious comment at the time from league chief executive Andrew Demetriou about the lack of interest in the Greater Western Sydney (GWS) proposal has led to Harley joining Team GWS as a project consultant.

The newly-retired Geelong captain has revealed the AFL did not approach him about the role, but rather he went to them.

"As it (expansion discussion) went along, I heard Andrew Demetriou in an interview and he was spruiking the two clubs," Harley said.

"He said he had a pile of 54 resumes on his desk for the GC job, but jokingly said not many for GWS.

"My wife is from Sydney and I knew it was probably on the radar, so I guess I initiated contact back then - with only the view to say `look, when I retire, perhaps keep me in mind'."

Harley has since served on a GWS committee and this new part-time role will mean he works in the new club's football department, as well in areas such as corporate and government relations.

He says he will be the classic jack of all trades, master of none.

"That's where it came down to a fantastic opportunity, to get a broad-spectrum view of an AFL club, as opposed to just coaching.

"I'm sure if I need to kick a few balls around I will, but it's not a coaching position."

Harley will start on February 1, the same date that Kevin Sheedy joins as GWS coach.

"We'll be working pretty closely and that will be a great experience in itself," Harley said of Sheedy.

The GWS role is another great post-football role for Harley.

The much-respected Cats defender, who skippered the club to two premierships, will also work in the media and is a part-time coach at the AFL academy.

When he announced his retirement, Harley said he could not imagine working at another club, against his beloved Cats, and this is a perfect compromise.

"I was really keen to make sure I could commit fully to a cause," he said.

"I just wouldn't feel I could have done that at another rival AFL club.

"It's a great project, it's going to start to evolve and my passion is going to start to burn a bit deeper for this team."

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