Sheedy wants GWS games in Canberra - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sheedy wants GWS games in Canberra

By Roger Vaughan 03/02/2010 09:51:05 PM Comments (0)

GWS coach Kevin Sheedy wants the AFL expansion team to play in Canberra and build a strong presence in the national capital.

Sheedy is keen to play three or four GWS home games per season in the ACT.

The coaching legend and the AFL's NSW/ACT manager Dale Holmes met on Wednesday with ACT Minister for Sport and Recreation Andrew Barr.

The new team and the ACT Government will spend the next five months trying to drum up support in the ACT before a presentation to the GWS board in July.

Sheedy said the relationship could be stronger than Hawthorn's successful partnership with the Tasmanian Government, which centres on "home" games at Launceston.

Several AFL teams have hosted games at Canberra's Manuka Oval in the last few years, with mixed results.

"It's better than Tasmania, because Tasmania is not zoned to Hawthorn, so we can build our own fan base and keep our own players," he said.

"We can come here and have recruiting camps as well as training camps.

"So this is not a one-week deal with a new team called the Western Bulldogs or (in) two years' time it's going to be North Melbourne.

"This is your team if you want it."

Sheedy wants to build up the ACT games in the same way Essendon helped create themed matches such as the Anzac Day blockbuster against Collingwood and the Dreamtime At The 'G indigenous tribute against Richmond.

"That's the sort of opportunity that we're looking at here, that we can really build," he said.

"If we get it right ... it's absolutely fantastic."

Typical of Sheedy, he cheekily brought up the example of an ACT native who was taken at No.79 in the national draft and went onto greatness at Essendon.

"James Hird won't go to Essendon - the next James Hird - he actually comes to Western Sydney because this is our zone," he said of the former Bombers captain.

Mr Barr said it was crucial the local ACT football community and businesses supported the GWS team, adding it could not be left only to the government.

He said the main way the ACT Government could support the proposal would be helping to fund upgrades to Manuka Oval.

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