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  • Writer's pictureJosh Kempton

Reid a generational prospect: Sheahan

AFL national talent identification manager Kevin Sheahan believes Vic Country talent Harley Reid is a generational prospect.

The 18-year-old solidified his standing as the number one pick favourite with a standout performance in Vic Country’s two-point win over Western Australia at the WACA Ground on Friday night, gathering 26 disposals and kicking two goals.

With the currently last-placed West Coast in the box seat to be handed the draft’s first selection, Sheahan told Sports Breakfast he would be fascinated to see whether the club that receives the pick trades it for more selections down the board.

“It’s the conundrum that all the clubs will be debating,” Sheahan said.

“He’s a special player. We’ve seen him now for three years, we’ve seen him as a 16-year-old play in under-18 competition for the Bendigo Pioneers and one of the coaches whispered to me then ‘he’s got a bit of Dustin Martin about him, this kid’.

“He’s got some special tricks. He’s great one-on-one, when goals are needed you put him up forward and use his body well, he can jump, he can play half-back and intercept mark.

“He looks a very unique talent and clubs will be having that debate. The clubs that want him will be trying to line up two or three draft choices to try and get him or maybe an established player or two in a trade.”

Debate has raged over whether the Eagles should risk selecting the Bendigo product, but Sheahan said both WA clubs had benefitted greatly from talent outside the state.

“The is with the country boys like Harley Reid, they’re gonna have to move anyway, so most clubs are happy to take a counetry boy. They rarely go home, they become David Mundy,” he said.

“You’ve got to be that careful if you decide not to choose someone because you’re worried about the go home. Chris Judd, you got some great wonderful service out of him before he went home.”

“They’d be more concerned about a metro kid from Victoria than a boy from the bush.”

Two of the AFL’s international stars that Sheahan helped to identify have registered milestones this year, with Collingwood’s Mason Cox becoming the first American player to play 100 games and Geelong’s Zac Tuohy set to break Jim Stynes’ record for the most games played by an Irishman this weekend.

Sheahan said both players had added much to the game.

“Thank goodness for the game’s sake [Mason] chose to come out. He was an engineer, he’d just graduated from college and was about to take a job with ExxonMobil,” Sheahan said.

“He put that aside because he wanted to pursue an athletic career. He had a background as a basketballer and a soccer player, no experience with our game. I think he’s been a wonderful success story for the game.

“What a marvellous performance [from Zac]. We thought no one would beat Jim, Jim was the iron man … he played 244 on the trot of his 264, 244 in a row. Amazing performance from a boy from Ireland.

“Zac Tuohy, what a marvel … his ability to use the ball, kick the ball, staggering. He’s one of the best kicks in the competition and he’s a boy brought up on a round ball game, so just amazing how he’s refined his skills in that area.”



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