Cameron excited about new challenge

Sportal October 4, 2012, 2:11 pm
Leon Cameron and Kevin Sheedy

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New Greater Western Sydney assistant coach Leon Cameron said the opportunity to work closely with coach Kevin Sheedy and oversee the development of one of the league's most exciting young lists were the main reasons for his decision to join the Giants instead of Port Adelaide.

After Cameron was reportedly offered the Power's coaching gig, GWS stepped in this week and ended any chance of that by signing him up as Sheedy's senior assistant next season and eventual successor in 2014 as part of a four-year deal with the league's youngest club.

"I'm absolutely rapt and excited to be here because it's not every day you get an opportunity to work with obviously Kevin - a four-time premiership coach, a legend of the game," Cameron said at his official unveiling at Skoda Stadium on Thursday.

"What better way can you start out your coaching career?

"And obviously, in terms of the young list that Kevin's put together already - and continues to put together with (football operations manager) Graeme Allan and (list manager) Stephen Silvagni and the other coaches, I just think it's a fantastic opportunity."

Cameron had nothing but good things to say about the way Port Adelaide went about wooing him to become Matthew Primus' replacement and denied he passed up the chance to coach the Power because he viewed them as a club on the way down.

Gold Coast assistant Ken Hinkley and former Sydney and Bulldogs mentor Rodney Eade are thought to be the frontrunners now to replace Primus as the Power's coaching wishlist continues to shrink.

"They're at a stage where they know they're rebuilding as well," Cameron said.

"(Power chief executive) Keith Thomas ran a fantastic process and they're going to find an exciting coach.

"But in the end, how can you (pass up the chance to) start out your coaching career working with someone like Kevin Sheedy as well as working with such an exciting list?"

One member of Greater Western Sydney's 'exciting list' who came under enormous scrutiny this season was rugby league convert Israel Folau.

But Cameron believes the code-hopper can still achieve great things with the Giants despite a less-than-spectacular debut season.

"It takes great courage to come from one code to another and the progress that he's made from the day he stepped into this place to that game probably six weeks ago has been phenomenal," Cameron said in reference to Folau's nine-possession one-goal performance against the Kangaroos in Round 23.

"There's some exciting things about his game that he's really developing and I can't wait to help him improve further on throughout the years."

Cameron's contract with GWS sees him coach the club in his own right from 2014 to 2016 at least, but the former Bulldogs and Richmond star wasn't sure if a finals berth could be achieved in that time.

"It's very, very hard to answer," Cameron said.

"What I'm looking forward to is just hitting the ground running, getting involved in our pre-season... we're just worried about improvement year after year after year."

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