Player Watch #29 Angus Sheldrick - welcome to the Bloods

SeanM

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Oct 17, 2016
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From SMH article

Sydney’s two draft selections from Western Australia Angus Sheldrick and Corey Warner will remain in Western Australia until January as will the Western Bulldogs’ Arthur Jones - one of three players from the state drafted to a Victorian club in the national draft.
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If players in Western Australia headed east before Christmas they would need to spend 14 days in quarantine to head home for the break, so clubs have decided it is better for the players to remain in Perth where they are for the time being.

Warner’s brother, Chad, and Sydney’s first pick from last year’s draft, Logan McDonald, are also in Western Australia and the quartet will train with each other in the pre-Christmas period. Assistant coach Don Pyke was also in Perth when the national draft was held and has already caught up with Sheldrick.
 

caesar88

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Angus has taken the Luke Parker comparisons a bit too seriously it seems...

56A429EE-46BC-4EB5-8021-CA0B021E2CB7.jpeg
 

Wolftone

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I think it is really amusing that all those people who were bemoaning Gulden's lack of height are the same ones praising Gus. I mean all the people who said 'he' s just too short or I worry about how short he is, are now the same ones saying Gus will be the next Kennedy @ 179cm. Kennedy is 189cm.

But he might just turn out OK.

On JAT-L29 using BigFooty.com mobile app
 

rustycrate

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I think it is really amusing that all those people who were bemoaning Gulden's lack of height are the same ones praising Gus. I mean all the people who said 'he' s just too short or I worry about how short he is, are now the same ones saying Gus will be the next Kennedy @ 179cm. Kennedy is 189cm.

But he might just turn out OK.

On JAT-L29 using BigFooty.com mobile app
As usual it is quite amusing that you are continually way off the mark in both your facts and your conclusion of said facts.
The fact that you doubt Sheldrick's future (might) is on you.
 

Grand Uncle Horace

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As usual it is quite amusing that you are continually way off the mark in both your facts and your conclusion of said facts.
The fact that you doubt Sheldrick's future (might) is on you.

10cm difference between JPK and Angus is one thing, a greater point of difference is the burst of breakaway speed and two way running the young bull is capable of.

JPK's height and ability meant he has always been a marking threat. We used to see this years ago when he was able to drift forward.

I always hoped he would develop playing fwd as a 2ndry string to his bow as Parker has done. For whatever reason this did not happen and he is now a NFL special teams type player. In 2021 he spent Nic Nat type %s on the pine. When he plays in 2022, I expect his tog to fall below 60%.
 

Kiama Chris

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Interesting that Angus is training with the forward group and in his interview mentioned playing as a smaller forward. Was mentioned in Training too I think.
Interesting.
 

Deccas

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Interesting that Angus is training with the forward group and in his interview mentioned playing as a smaller forward. Was mentioned in Training too I think.
Interesting.
Looks like his apprenticeship will be served in the forward line. Seems right, he has a knack for scoring goals. He's not exactly a "set up the team from composed use off half back" type. More of a crash bash and make something happen type. I reckon he will learn a lot from papley and really thrive in there until his oppurtities in the middle arrive.
 

Millky95

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Looks like his apprenticeship will be served in the forward line. Seems right, he has a knack for scoring goals. He's not exactly a "set up the team from composed use off half back" type. More of a crash bash and make something happen type. I reckon he will learn a lot from papley and really thrive in there until his oppurtities in the middle arrive.
Also might mean he can be involved in forward 50 stoppages which will be fun to see
 

Grand Uncle Horace

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I can see Angus having a solid impact (hehe) in our system of forward defensive pressure. As well as his ability to win his own ball and distribute it effectively, he is a cannonball tackler.

Hopefully his tackling skills receive attention as I worry the Umps may penalise him a bit more than others.
 

rustycrate

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Resilience — like sporting ability — is in the Sheldrick DNA.

Angus Sheldrick is the first to admit he’s come from being “relatively unknown” and outside of WA’s best 23 to storm into top-30 calculations in next month’s AFL national draft.

The Christ Church captain and Claremont midfield bull didn’t take long to win over State 19s selectors Adam Jones and Marc Webb with his hard work and competitiveness, and change their mind about his position in the side.

Sheldrick remarkably won both his school’s and colts club’s fairest-and-best awards this season, despite only playing eight of a possible 21 games in the latter.

When you dig a little deeper, it’s not hard to tell where the 17-year-old gets his determination and resilience from.

His father Dom Sheldrick was in the AIS and swam for Australia at the 1987 Pan Pacific Games but was diagnosed with leukaemia, shattering his Olympic and Commonwealth Games dreams.

“My dad has been huge for me as well being in that sort of environment, he knew what this year was going to encompass for me and he’s been super supportive and puts no pressure on me at all and that’s been a big part of why I’ve been able to have such a consistent year,” Sheldrick said.

“He swam for Australia in the Pan Pacific Games but unfortunately got leukaemia which stopped his swimming and chances of making the Olympic Games. He was at the AIS for a few years and was really competitive in the 100m freestyle.”

Dom, who’s still involved in swimming as the president of Swimming WA’s board, fought his way back from cancer and life-threatening treatments to swim at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games trials before falling short in the final.

“I swam in the 1997 Pan Pacific Games but straight after, my performances dropped off and it took until racing at the 1988 Olympic trials for the 100m freestyle for me to realise something was a bit amiss,” Dom recalled.

“I missed the Olympic Games that year and then came back to Perth after trials and went to see a doctor because I was feeling like c**p.

“I was diagnosed a week or two after that with chronic myeloid leukaemia. I had a year of waiting around because the treatment back then was so life-threatening in itself because you had to have your bone marrow killed off with chemotherapy and take a transplant and there was no guarantee the transplant would work.

“I had a bone marrow transplant from my younger brother Nicholas in March of 1989 and that was a complete match, I then had the rest of ‘89 to recover and then got back into the water in 1990.

“I swam for the next 18 months and got back to my best ever but fell short at the Olympic trials in ‘92, I just missed out having made the final for the trials.

“It was a slow and painful journey towards retirement, recognising it was all over for me, and then I went to university before getting a job with the Fremantle Football Club as promotions manager for the first three or four years of their existence.”

There’s plenty of other sporting talents in the family, with grandfather John Sheldrick winning a discus bronze medal in the 1962 Empire Games for England before staying in Perth.

Uncle Jeremy Sheldrick was a champion player at Claremont, and one of the last players cut from Fremantle’s inaugural AFL squad, while fellow uncle Nick was a State winger in rugby.

But Angus, described as “on another level” with his drive, looks destined to forge a path of his own.

“I think that’s always been something that’s in the family, but Gus would be at a different level to me and my siblings in terms of his internal drive and his cool, calm and collected nature,” Dom said.

“I think he’s probably something special and far more controlled and very internally motivated and flustered, I got much more flustered at his age.”

WA Football Commission State talent manager Jones described Sheldrick, who has been likened to Gold Coast Sun Matt Rowell, as a player “you fall in love with”.

“He was one of the last couple selected into our under-19s squad and (coach) Marc Webb and I met with him and all players individually before we played a game to give everyone an understanding of where they sat,” Jones recalled.

“The discussion with him was that he was probably outside of the best 23 so he was going to have to fight his way past a few to get into the team for the championships.

“By the end of the conversation, Webby and I said to each other, ‘He’s going to cause us some headaches’ because you could just tell by his determination in that meeting and the character that he is that he was going to fight his way past a few.

“In the end, he was one of the first picked for every game.

“He hasn’t really played a bad game and every level that he’s stepped up to, he’s been able to have the same impact.

“We’ve seen an improvement in his kicking throughout the year and he’s probably proven to be a lot more powerful and dynamic than we initially thought.

“Gussy is a player that when you’ve involved with him, you fall in love with him because of how he competes, so I think he’s shot up into top-30 calculations and I reckon whoever picks him up is going to get an absolute ripper.”

From kicking efficiency to endurance and ball-handling skills, the courageous left-footer had a lot of areas to work on before he was capable of producing the season that he did.

Whether it’s PSA or WAFL colts and national under-19s games for WA, you’ll struggle to find a bad game from Sheldrick this year.

He averaged a touch under 37 possessions for his school, including 49 in the opening round against Guildford Grammar.

For Claremont Sheldrick polled in every game, including best-afield performances in seven out of nine to win by a whopping 66 votes.

AFL clubs have taken note, with Sheldrick meeting face-to-face with Fremantle recruiters and even had the Western Bulldogs come to his house while they were in Perth for the grand final, to go with multiple Zoom calls.

“Captaining Christ Church was a super big highlight, just being able to lead my mates and for them to have voted me in and think of me as the right person to lead them,” Sheldrick reflected.

“Even though we didn’t have a very successful year, that’s probably the first thing that springs to mind. It was a massive honour.

“Making the State Academy was also another huge accomplishment, probably from where I started from at the start of the year, being relatively unknown after breaking my collarbone last year and not playing any games.

“So to come in and have the form that I have is something I’ve been pretty proud of and I’ve had to work pretty hard to get that happening.

“Probably just being clean with my hands and not fumbling as well, which has probably been my best attribute this year and something that’s got a lot better.

“I think everyone had to work on their endurance because nobody is at the AFL level of endurance, but I was probably a bit behind most of the guys and that was something I worked hard on.

“Then skills as well, so it was a bit of everything but I just sort of plodded away and did little bits at a time and it’s paid off.”

He hasn’t done it alone, with Sheldrick crediting Australian Football Hall of Fame inductee Rob Wiley for his influence and believing in him when others wrote him off.

The former Richmond and Perth rover has helped oversee Christ Church’s football program for three years, coinciding with Sheldrick’s time in the first XVIII.

“He’s probably been the one person, when I didn’t make State 16s and the like, who’s always shown a lot of belief in my ability to take it to the highest level,” Sheldrick said.

“He’s always been that guy who said I’ve got what it takes and if I’m willing to work with him on things that he thinks I need to improve on. He always thought I could get there.

“I’ve had him ever since I started playing first XVIII at Christ Church in Year 10 and that was his first year at the school as well.

“We built a close relationship and he still calls me, even though the PSA footy season is done, so I can’t thank him enough and he’s had the most influence on my footy than anyone else by far. I don’t know where I’d be without his input.

“He works with AFL players as well, they sort of go to him if they’re struggling.

“There was one time where Connor Blakely was having some kicking issues and I went down and Rob was working with him.

“I tagged along and did some kicking drills as well. Rob’s got some pretty high names working with the likes of Patty Cripps and a lot of the WA guys that are captains of clubs and Brownlow medallists because he’s been around for a while.

“He’s got a wealth of knowledge and I just try to be a sponge to that.”

Sheldrick capped off a career-best season with two of the best games of his life.

The 17-year-old nearly dragged Claremont over the line in the WAFL colts decider against Swan Districts at Optus Stadium with a pair of third-quarter goals — one on each foot — to go with 27 disposals, seven clearance, six inside 50s and five tackles.

Eight days later, he was best-afield WA’s last under-19s clash against South Australia — where he amassed 29 disposals, eight clearances and the match-sealing goal.

Despite his rapid rise from fringe State squad member to best on ground and a draft combine invite, Sheldrick is keeping a level head and knows nothing is for certain is the industry.

“The AFL interest has been OK but there’s a lot of us boys, besides the ones in the AFL Academy and a couple of others who are a bit ahead of everyone, who have had similar interest around that mark,” Sheldrick said.

“I just try my best to not think about that sort of stuff but I guess it will be hard not to now the season is done.”
 
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