Folau, Hunt warned about AFL switch - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Folau, Hunt warned about AFL switch

By Ian McCullough 03/06/2010 05:25:47 PM Comments (0)

Parramatta centre Joel Reddy has warned new AFL recruits Karmichael Hunt and Israel Folau to expect a baptism of fire when they start their new careers in the rival code.

Reddy is one of the few players in the NRL to have had the experience of playing Australian Rules, having spent some of his teenage years living in Adelaide, when his father Rod Reddy was coaching the now defunct Adelaide Rams.

The 24-year-old admits he enjoyed the game, and said Folau, who will join the GWS franchise next year, and Hunt, who started training with the new Gold Coast team on Wednesday, will find the initial transition very difficult.

"I played for about a season or two with the school team and then played more soccer for about three or four years as there was no league down there," Reddy told AAP.

"It's a 360 degree sort of game, you've got to be looking everywhere. There are players coming at you from in front, behind and from the side all the time.

"It is not as easy as rugby league where you can just have a run and get more involved in the game.

"You've got to do a lot of work off the ball in Aussie rules to get involved and I think that is where Karmichael and Izzy will find it very different.

"It is a tough game to learn, but these guys are elite level rugby league players and it will be really interesting to see how they go."

Reddy also believes the pair will not struggle with the physical demands of the game and said the AFL knows exactly what they are doing by persuading the pair to switch codes.

"They are great athletes and I know in Aussie Rules they get them at camps when they are young and they target athletes, so I think they'll go well," he said

"There is no way the AFL would have picked them if they didn't think they could do it."

Reddy returned to Sydney to follow his father's footsteps and play rugby league and said he had no interest in emulating Hunt and Folau.

"I always wanted to return to Sydney and give league a crack and I have no regrets," he said.

And despite being a resident in the western Sydney area the AFL are trying to tap into, Reddy said he had no plans to watch GWS at Blacktown.

"No, I won't be doing that, it will be interesting to see how it goes, but I will stick to reading about them in the paper."

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