Stronger for suffering
Sheedy confident Giants can kick on from current woe
KEVIN Sheedy is confident the Giants will come out of their current fourgame losing streak a stronger team — pointing to the turnaround he achieved at Essendon in the early 1980s and Richmond’s rise over the past couple of seasons.
GWS’s inaugural coach and the AFL’s newest ‘Legend’ said the Giants will learn more from their slump — which is in danger of stretching to five games today away to Adelaide — than if they were winning and will come out the other side better for it.
In Sheedy’s first year at Essendon (1981) he had the critics calling for his head when he started with only one win in his first six games. The Bombers recovered to win 15 of the next 16 to play in the finals.
Sheedy isn’t predicting a similar recovery from the Giants this year but says Leon Cameron will become a better coach by studying his team closely during this slump.
“Leon has finally said hello to some losses,” Sheedy told The Sunday Telegraph. “This is the period where you learn. You don’t learn that much when you win but when you lose you learn a truck load. You look, really keep looking hard to work out your problems and delve into the loss. As a coach you ask yourself how did you muck that up? That’s what’s happening with Leon now.”
Sheedy pointed to Richmond’s disastrous 2016 season and the Swans’ horror start to 2017 as examples of what he is talking about.
“Take a look at the bad year Richmond had before they won the flag,” Sheedy said. “They finished 13th and Damien Hardwick was under huge pressure then they won the premiership the next year. The Swans lost six in a row last year and they are a good side who played in finals. It is a game of the mind, it’s all between the ears.”
Sheedy also points to the horror run with injuries which has seen them loose their star players Josh Kelly, Toby Greene and Phil Davis for extended periods of time.
“It’s just confidence, injuries and new players coming in, they just need games,” Sheedy said.
“You have a look at the last 8-10 players they’ve brought in from their development areas.”
Sheedy was honoured at the Hall of Fame induction last Tuesday night, becoming just the third coach to receive Legend status, alongside icons Jock McHale (Collingwood, seven premierships) and Norm Smith (Melbourne, six premierships).
Former Giants coach Kevin Sheedy.