Sheed paves the way for country kids
- Wednesday, 04 June 2014
The Subiaco Football club has become a home away from home in recent years for many young players from the Goldfields and Esperance.
The Lions ongoing relationship with its country zones is not only flourishing but continues to provide young footballers with the chance to prove themselves on a bigger platform.
A recent example of this is the West Coast Eagles 2013 first round draft-pick Dom Sheed, who was recruited from the Subiaco Football Club after being a product of Mines Rovers Football Club.
Sheed is just the latest success story hailing from the Subiaco-Country Zone and there are many other talented country players in the system hoping to become the next one.
Subiaco’s development system currently has 12 Colts players representing the country zones of Kalgoorlie and Esperance and Player Development Officer Jeff Lind believes the Lions are reaping the rewards from regional areas rich in talent.
“We have a development program in the country that mirrors what we do in the metro area. We have good people managing the talent development squads like Adrian Hicks (Goldfields) and Kingsley Walker (Esperance) who are doing great jobs. At this time of the year we start the process of talent identifying the next crop of 14 and 15 year olds from the Goldfields and Esperance zones." said Lind
"The best of the 14 and 15 year olds will compete in a Zone carnival in Esperance on the 5th and 6th of July. Players who perform well in this carnival will be included in the talent squads for their respective zones and will then be under the guidance of Adrian Hicks and Kingsley Walker."
With a daunting six (Kalgoorlie) and eight (Esperance) hour trip separating the young footballers from the Subiaco Football Club, Lind stated that dedication and initiative are a must for the country footballers.
"It takes a lot of commitment for the players to come to play in Perth. They have to do a lot of preparation on their own and show a lot of initiative because the standard required is high." added Lind
“If the players are ready to re-locate to Perth then I will discuss with them and their parents and find out if they are genuinely interested in moving down. It’s important for the young players to have a solid structure if they decide to relocate to Perth.“
Sheed had that support and excelled once moving to Perth playing league football at just 17 years of age before captaining Western Australia at the State 18’s National Carnival.
"Sheed was always a super talent but for his ongoing development he needed to be part of a WAFL Club structure. He went through all the development programs like the others and relocated when he was 17. With the support of his family Sheed was provided with direction and given enhanced coaching and he did the rest." said Lind
Jeff Lind had some advice for young country footballers hoping to follow in Sheed's footsteps.
“Don’t relocate to Perth unless you have a real passion to play footy at the highest level. If you’re only coming down because you think it an avenue to a new lifestyle it will all fall apart pretty quickly. You need to focus on your footy but more importantly be clear in what your doing in regards to study and employment and be living in a supportive environment, preferably with family. If you have all these things together and you want to try achieve what you can from your footy; then go for it.”