Super sub Power to play 300th

Sportal August 12, 2012, 8:12 am
Luke Power

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Luke Power will play his 300th game next weekend against Melbourne - and he has wily Greater Western Sydney coach Kevin Sheedy to thank for that.

Sheedy revealed after the Giants' 30-point loss to Gold Coast that he has used the substitute rule to nurse the triple premiership player through to his milestone game.

The former Brisbane Lions stalwart was once again handed the green vest against the Suns, and he made an instant impact once he was sent into the game in the third quarter.

By the final siren, Power had amassed 17 possessions and four clearances as a plucky GWS outfit mounted a gallant but ultimately fruitless late comeback against the Suns.

The move might have raised eyebrows when team sheets were handed out before the game, but Sheedy said it was all part of a plan that began when Power 'busted' his ribs against the Swans back in Round 14.

"I've had him as the sub two or three times, because the difficulty was when he had his ribs busted against the Swans that it would have put his 300th game in jeopardy," the Giants mentor said.

"I had to balance it out. Putting him sub through a couple of games was important for us to get him that 300.

"In this case, Luke most likely won't play again and I don't want him to see what's happened to (Craig) Bolton at Sydney, on about 297.

"They never played him his 300th, and I thought that was pathetic.

"It won't happen when I'm involved in the club. We owe it to these players who put their whole career and life into football.

"He gets annoyed about it, but I said bad luck, I'm the coach and you're the sub. When you've got 1000 games you can say that, 'cos you've only got 299.

"He'll run out there full on next week, starting against Melbourne, who we've got a good chance of beating.

"But it's his 300th game. And the Giants helped him get there. The Giants. Not Brisbane."

The loss to Gold Coast means that, unless GWS manage to upset the Demons next week - or St Kilda or North Melbourne in the weeks subsequent - Sheedy will be stuck with his first wooden spoon in his storied 1000 game career as a player and a coach.

However, the coaching legend unsurprisingly had a positive spin to put on it.

"It's never been in my repertoire but if you want to look at the coaches who have won wooden spoons, I can tell you now - it's a great team," he joked.

But Sheedy admitted his Giants side, who stuck with the Suns for the first half before a six-goal burst across the main break changed the game, missed a golden opportunity for their third victory of the season.

"We probably could have won the game if we played four quarters, but we didn't. In fairness to Gold Coast, they did," he said.

And on the subject of tanking, which has been at the centre of football discourse for the past week, Sheedy was on the front foot.

Speculation the expansion sides would look to lose Saturday's game at Metricon Stadium in order to 'win' the rights to prized Victorian midfielder Lachie Whitfield was well off the mark, he said.

"It's great for you people (the media) to write what you think, and you make up stories," Sheedy said.

"That was a terrific game of footy, nearly 30 goals between two very young sides."

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