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Friday, July 10 2020 @ 06:32 pm ACST

Sheedy’s Californian Dreamin’



If the legendary Kevin Sheedy can get his dream, Greater Western Sydney (GWS) might well play a premiership match in California as early as next year. ‘Sheeds’ will draw on the talents of the other two clubs where he became a legend – Essendon or Richmond – to be the Giants’ opponent.

There would be no better innovator in AFL circles to make this happen. It was through Sheedy’s vision and determination that we now have the ANZAC Day match between his beloved Bombers and Collingwood, as well as the round as a whole now. He was also the driving force behind Dreamtine at the G showpiece between Essendon and Richmond and more recently the Country Round between Essendon and Geelong.

The following link to a story on the 7 News website looks deeper into his American Dream: https://7news.com.au/sport/afl/gws-gi...a-c-676121

No, he wasn’t the one behind the push into China in recent years, but Sheedy spoke to me a few years ago and pushed the development of the game internationally by saying, “it’s great. We have the best game in the world and we have do develop it and encourage it. We have to give it lots of encouragement for it to succeed overseas. It is important for the future of the game that we develop it in markets everywhere.”
“The thing is we have to adjust it. We just can’t expect to take the game to other countries that don’t play it as widely as here and expect them to just change everything there to accommodate it. We have to change the product if necessary to make it fit there. Not all countries have the grounds to support 18 a side. So we modify it. I don’t care how. Just do it.”

His fingerprints can be found within the development of the International Rules tournaments, has led missions to India to grow the game there and mentioned America in the past as a logical step for the game.

There is also an excellent article on the Herald Sun newspaper website that is worth reading, though due to paywall restrictions a link cannot be added here directly to the story. Suffice to say, the article explores further Sheedy’s vision and how California is ideally set up for match as early as the 2021 AFL Premiership season.

To read Kevin Sheedy’s interview with World Footy News back in 2014 – which certainly fits very closely with his vision this week, read the article Kevin Sheedy – A (brief) World View.

Photo Credits: www.thechronicle.com.au (top left), www.theaustralian.com.au (top right)

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