An AFL leg­end in town for the AFL grand fi­nal hol­i­day

Benalla Ensign - - News -

AFL Hall of Fame Leg­end Kevin Sheedy will be the guest speaker in the Ryan & McNulty VIP mar­quee this year – along with Scott Cum­mings who will be host­ing the mar­quee.

Sheedy has an im­pres­sive record in Aus­tralian foot­ball as player and coach, but de­spite his epic achieve­ments in these roles, his most pro­found in­flu­ence may be the in­no­va­tions he pro­posed and sup­ported.

En­sur­ing he has left an in­deli­ble mark on the game.

Sheedy played 251 games with Rich­mond between 1967 and 1979 and was a mem­ber of three premier­ship sides (’69, ’73 and ’74), was club best and fairest in 1976 and cap­tain in 1978.

And earned se­lec­tion in eight Vic­to­rian state teams.

At his re­tire­ment some com­men­ta­tors ob­served his con­sid­er­able achieve­ments were due not so much to abun­dant nat­u­ral ta­lent but to de­ter­mi­na­tion and the thought­ful ap­pli­ca­tion of his abil­i­ties. This abil­ity to an­a­lyse quickly be­came ev­i­dent when he took over as head coach of Essendon in 1981 and im­me­di­ately set about build­ing the fa­mous sides that won pre­mier­ships in 1984 and 1985. He went on to coach Essendon for 27 years, play­ing in the fi­nals 19 times, seven grand fi­nals and a to­tal of four pre­mier­ships (’84, ’85, ’93 and 2000). When speak­ing at his in­duc­tion into the AFL Hall of Fame, Sheedy told the au­di­ence: ‘‘Only two peo­ple in the world did 27 years: Nel­son Man­dela and my­self’’’.

Sheedy was a pro­po­nent of the ex­tended in­ter­change bench (from two play­ers to four) which has eased the phys­i­cal de­mands caused by the in­creas­ing speed of the game and of the cre­ation of the an­nual Essendon-Colling­wood An­zac Day fix­ture.

He was also, with Essendon com­mit­tee­man Bill Kelty, an ar­chi­tect of AFL trainee­ships to pro­vide ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties to foot­ballers.

And is now also a cham­pion of the in­creas­ingly high pro­file Coun­try Game against Gee­long.

Only two peo­ple in the world did 27 years: Nel­son Man­dela and my­self Kevin Sheedy on in­duc­tion into AFL Hall of Fame

SHEEDS SAYS: Kevin Sheedy will be the speaker in the Ryan & McNulty VIP mar­quee this year.

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