McVeigh flags great Sydney AFL rivalry - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

McVeigh flags great Sydney AFL rivalry

By Daniel Brettig 02/06/2010 05:03:03 PM Comments (0)

Greater Western Sydney are looming as the Sydney Swans' greatest enemy, and there shall be no quarter asked nor given in the war for the AFL's nascent NSW fanbase.

This fire and brimstone image was painted by Swans utility Jarrad McVeigh as he spoke about the impact of GWS in the wake of their high-profile signing of rugby league superstar Israel Folau.

McVeigh questioned whether Folau would be worth his large price tag.

"We're talking about $1 million a year, it is a lot of money," he said on Wednesday.

"Is he worth that? Probably not, but they're trying to promote their club and they're doing that.

"They probably could have got two or three good players with the money they've spent, but they've marketed it the way they wanted to.

"We're all talking about it, and with Karmichael Hunt now at the Gold Coast, they're coming into a lot of scrutiny.

"The hardest thing for them will be to read the game - you can work on your skills as much as you like, but if you don't know where to run you won't get the ball.

"That's going to be the biggest hurdle for them, knowing where to run and how to get the ball."

Swans coach Paul Roos has made no secret of his distaste for how the AFL has largely ignored Sydney at times before pumping huge dollars into a new club in order to build the TV saleability of the league, and McVeigh concurred.

"We do as much as we can for the Sydney people, we try to put our brand out there all the time, we do a lot of clinics and we want our supporters to stay with us," he said.

"They (GWS) are going to be our enemies out of all the AFL teams, so we're going to be fighting as much as we can to keep our supporters and members with us."

Jarrad McVeigh and his older brother Mark are a rare duo to have grown out of Sydney and reached the elite level, and both agreed that there had to be more junior development if the game was to squeeze out of the niche market.

"There's been a shortage of AFL footballers coming out of NSW and we need to turn that around somehow," said Essendon's Mark McVeigh.

"If they can look at Jarrad at the Swans and try to emulate what he's done and what he's done to get there, we can start developing some really good young kids coming out of NSW because there just isn't enough at the moment and we need to develop it."

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