Sheedy considers bringing back a champion - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sheedy considers bringing back a champion

Adrian Warren 14/02/2011 07:17:43 PM Comments (0)

Greater Western Sydney coach Kevin Sheedy is contemplating trying to coax former Melbourne great James McDonald out of retirement to help assist his collection of raw youngsters.

McDonald, who captained Melbourne from 2008 to 2010 and played 251 games for the Demons, was recruited by GWS earlier this month as a player mentor.

The vast majority of the Giants list is under 19 and they will face their first serious test on Saturday in a NAB Cup round against Sydney and Gold Coast at Blacktown Olympic Park.

Sheedy isn't likely to call on McDonald's services this weekend, but didn't rule out trying to persuade the former Melbourne star to suit up for some of the Giants' games in the new North-East Australian Football League starting in mid April.

"It has crossed my mind, he (McDonald) is a player you could always slip in there quietly," Sheedy told reporters on Monday.

The former Essendon premiership-winning coach even suggested McDonald might line-up on Adelaide legend Andrew McLeod, who will be making some appearances in the fledgling competition for Northern Territory Thunder.

"Andrew McLeod has obviously got that footy legend left in him, so he can do that, we might actually get James McDonald to play on Andrew McLeod when we play Northern Territory, just to make it even," Sheedy said.

While Port Adelaide football manager Peter Rohde has questioned the value of playing a callow and lightly framed GWS outfit in the pre-season, Sheedy suggested the Giants would at the very least provide nuisance value to more experienced clubs.

"If we play at our best we are going to annoy people and I like to annoy people," Sheedy joked.

Asked about his realistic hopes for the weekend Sheedy said: "I've got no doubt we will take both wins and we will take them in our stride, because if you don't think positive you shouldn't be going out there," Sheedy said.

He took an opportunity to have another friendly jibe at Collingwood President Eddie McGuire.

"Everybody thinks we may not play well (this weekend), what happens if we do?" Sheedy said.

"It will worry the hell out of everyone, even Eddie (McGuire) from Toorak."

The Giants' high profile rugby league convert Israel Folau isn't expected to play on Saturday and may not be available for three to four weeks according to Sheedy.

However, the GWS mentor suggested Folau could make a good centre-half-back in the Mal Michael mould.

"A clean strong player that can move a pack, he's very strong, he's hardly ever been outmarked in our drills, so that leads me a little bit to that thinking," Sheedy said.

GWS played two trials over the last two weekends, defeating a Sydney age group side and losing to a similar composite side from Canberra.

Sheedy acknowledged this weekend would prove a big step-up for his pups.

"We're probably going out of club athletics into the Olympic Games or Commonwealth Games," Sheedy said.

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