Code hopping to become the norm: Sheedy - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Code hopping to become the norm: Sheedy

By Laine Clark 10/05/2010 05:26:51 PM Comments (0)

Code hoppers like Karmichael Hunt will become the norm in the next decade, according to AFL legend Kevin Sheedy.

Hunt's decision to switch from league - via rugby - to the AFL for the new Gold Coast franchise was seen by cynics as a publicity stunt.

But Sheedy said it was a sign of things to come.

"In general, everybody swaps jobs all around the nation," said Sheedy, the coach of AFL club-in-waiting Greater Western Sydney.

"People trade off their abilities and skills - I think people tend to forget that.

"I think that's the way sport is going to go in the next decade or so.

"If you have a talent, try to get the best out of it and your family no matter what.

"That's what is happening in sport.

"I don't see anything wrong with that."

GWS have already been linked to a big-money, three-year offer to another NRL star, Israel Folau.

Hunt raised eyebrows when he signed a lucrative three-year deal with the Gold Coast.

Sheedy said he would be watching Hunt's AFL transition with interest.

"Absolutely. He used to play AFL (at schoolboy level) and we lost him so it's a fantastic effort by the Gold Coast to get him back," he said.

Hunt is not expected to make his VFL debut for the Gold Coast until at least June 5 following his remarkable success with French rugby club Biarritz.

He has been a revelation at five-eighth for Biarritz, guiding them to the May 22 European Cup final against French rivals Toulouse.

Gold Coast CEO Travis Auld could only find positives in Hunt's delay.

"I have been amazed at what Karmichael has been able to achieve," Auld told AAP on Monday.

"Six months ago, he was playing rugby league at the highest level that this country can offer.

"He goes overseas to union and plays at the highest level that you can play over there.

"What it tells you is his ability to adapt to a new code very quickly - he is just a wonderful athlete.

"If he can play AFL at the highest level he is going to put himself in a whole new category." Sheedy arrived on the Gold Coast on Monday heading a Team GWS delegation to share information with their fellow AFL newcomers.

Gold Coast make their AFL debut in 2011 - Team GWS a year later.

They toured the Gold Coast's homeground which is under construction before picking each other's brains.

And there was a lot to sift through judging by Sheedy's thoughts on recruitment.

While keen to groom talent from NSW, Sheedy wasn't going to be restricted to his state - or his country - to fill their roster.

"You would be thinking sooner or later our sloppiness not to understand there are 10 million people living off-shore off the east coast of Australia between New Guinea and New Zealand," he said.

"We really should look at those island kids.

"We will be looking everywhere to bring players into western Sydney to make sure it is a team capable of representing our area which has 165 nations out at Blacktown.

"If we can find a kid from Fiji, India, New Zealand or Samoa ... if he can play, we will be looking at him."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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