Sheedy won't drop Folau

Sportal April 15, 2012, 7:18 pm
Israel Folau

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Greater Western Sydney coach Kevin Sheedy says he has no plans to drop Israel Folau despite the under-performing NRL convert's horrific start to his AFL career.

Folau looked totally out of his depth for most of Sunday's 81-point loss to West Coast at Blacktown International Sportspark, earning just two disposals in another uninspiring display from the former rugby league superstar.

But Sheedy says dropping his marquee recruit from the senior side is not an option and urged his midfielders to stop ignoring the 22-year-old key forward.

"Let's face it he's going to get better and better," Sheedy said.

"I'll tell you now he should have been passed the ball four times today and he should have had 3.1 on the board because he's not a bad kick at goal.

"We'll keep playing Israel Folau and we'll give him all that experience, and you wouldn't want to believe it, he might just say one day say 'I like this game, I'm going to play like Karmichael Hunt did last night' (against Essendon)."

Asked why his players are reluctant to kick the ball to Folau, Sheedy replied: "I'll tell you now if he was in some of the other top AFL sides they'd be seeing him ... so we've got to work on that, that's just our players coming down the ground (and spotting him)."

Meanwhile, Sheedy praised his young side's fighting spirit in the loss to the clinical Eagles but conceded the Giants' sluggish starts are becoming a concern.

The hosts conceded 11 goals in a disastrous opening term against West Coast to trail by 58 points at the first change.

To their credit, Sheedy's men stemmed the flow of goals in the final three terms and won the fourth quarter to dodge a triple-figure defeat, but the veteran coach says his players must learn to play from the opening bounce.

"It's very annoying but we just have to work at that, we cannot be giving team's seven, eight or nine goals in half an hour," Sheedy said.

"Obviously West Coast is going to be in the top four and may even be in a grand final, we've just got to get off to a better start.

"We worked hard through the game, we gave a lot of free kicks that led to goals and when we stopped doing that we started playing better and I thought we were very, very competitive in the last three quarters.

"And that's a great experience for our boys, that's probably the best three quarters that we've put in ... from three-quarter time onwards it was eight goals to 12 and we can accept that."

When asked to rate his side's progress after their first three AFL games Sheedy said: "We'll probably be a very good side in about three to four weeks.

"We'll get players like Jon Patton in and Taylor Adams and these sort of boys, and all of a sudden you get the happy Irishman back in Setanta (O'hAilpin) ... and that dirty-rotten ex-Melbourne captain (James) McDonald that thug and all of a sudden you're going to annoy people."

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