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‘Futuristic thinking’: Sheedy backs Sydney push for AFL grand final

“This would be a great reward for Basil Sellars, the Shehadie futuristic thinking, 40 years ago,” Sheedy said.

“We’ve come a long way in 40 years in NSW. What’s going to make us go quicker in the next 10 or 20 years? For me, I’m thinking more that way inclined than going back to states that we know are probably well-entrenched AFL states.

Kevin Sheedy holding court at a book launch last year in Melbourne.

Kevin Sheedy holding court at a book launch last year in Melbourne.Credit:Eddie Jim

“I’ve got no doubt that a grand final in Sydney would be a huge success for the development of the game. If there’s ever a year to try it, do it this year. Come out it with something as positive as we can.

“That’s the way I’d look at it. If we look back in 25 years, ‘why didn’t we do it?’ I’ll be saying that – not that I’ll be here in 25 years – but if you were looking back, [you’d say] ‘we should have grabbed that opportunity.'”

Sheedy also rejected the notion that ANZ Stadium was a “ghastly” venue, as described by SEN presenter Gerard Whateley.

“It doesn’t look ghastly when the State of Origin was there. It’s all about the passion of the game on the day,” he said.

“I don’t see any problem with playing a grand final in Sydney, because in western Sydney there’s over three million people that we need to connect with AFL. I would think, from a futuristic point of view, it’d be beneficial to play the game in Sydney.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if the GWS Giants are playing Brisbane anyway. So wow, wouldn’t that be fantastic for the northern states to really enjoy a game like that.”

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AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said on Friday the league was still planning to play the grand final at the MCG, where it has a contract that runs through to 2054 – but that it would have to make a firm decision by August depending on the coronavirus situation.

“Everything keeps changing, and it sounds like you’re avoiding the question but it is real though – you don’t know where we’re going to be,” he said.

“We have a great venue. You know, on the basis of a hypothetical, I’ve said everything about the MCG being our home, but if it wasn’t, then obviously there’s great venues in every state and great footy markets, developing markets, and in South Australia and WA.

“We’re playing our shots pretty late because you don’t know what’s changing on a day-by-day basis. I know that’ll be a big discussion point, but we’ll be making that as late as we can.”

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