GWS will recruit in California: Sheedy - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

GWS will recruit in California: Sheedy

By Ben Horne 05/02/2010 08:05:36 AM Comments (0)

After signing a South African player last week, Greater Western Sydney coach Kevin Sheedy said his next recruitment stop for his new AFL club is the United States.

Sheedy believes the state of California has untapped potential for producing Australian Rules talent and plans on travelling there in the near future.

The state is better known for NBA club Los Angeles Lakers and the NFL's San Francisco 49ers, but Sheedy believes he can find athletes who can handle a Sherrin as well as a basketball or pig skin.

"I reckon California is the go, you've got 40 million people and they're like Australians really aren't they," said Sheedy, who put GWS' 18-year-old TAC players through their paces at Blacktown on Thursday.

"You look at what part of America you think is (like) Australia, you'd say California. There's 40 million people, there's double our population.

"I'll be going to California to chase players don't even worry about that, I just won't tell you when I'm going."

Sheedy also declared South African players will be playing top flight AFL within the next decade.

GWS has already signed South African Bayanda Sobetwa.

"There will be 10 players recruited from South Africa in the next 10 years for sure," he said.

"Don't forget, we can recruit from around the world now.

This last fortnight in South Africa, South Africa nearly beat the Flying Boomerangs, the best indigenous kids in Australia ... and that was Cape Town's team and Johannesburg's team.

"Just imagine if they played South Africa all as one team."

Sheedy took to the state-of-the-art AFL precinct at Blacktown Olympic Park on Thursday for a training run with promising youngsters from across NSW.

Despite being a rugby league heartland and GWS not entering the AFL competition for another two years, Sheedy was confident of continuing to generate publicity throughout the western suburbs.

"That won't be hard. I've been doing it for 27 years. A couple of years off, I'm a bit refreshed," Sheedy said.

"We're doing ok so far, haven't got a footy team and we've been in the newspapers every week. It's been a bit of fun.

"These kids will make it happen. They're the talent."

The kids he is referring to are the squad GWS has assembled to take part in the TAC under 18s competition this year.

Six of the players are on scholarships with GWS, while the others are aligned with other AFL clubs.

Tom Kickett, nephew of former AFL players Derek and Dale Kickett, has a scholarship with Hawthorn, but will turn out for GWS in the under 18s.

For their players under scholarship, GWS will get last say at draft time and for kids like Kickett, Sheedy needs to hope other clubs make mistakes on them and he can scoop them up.

"You just hope that other clubs make mistakes. You look through our game and it's riddled with mistakes," Sheedy said.

"A lot of clubs make errors because the listing is so awkward that you've got to be pretty right.

"And if you let one go that becomes a superstar, then hopefully we get the benefit of that."

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