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Israel Folau to the AFL...

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andynr123 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 01 Jun 2010 at 9:27am

Broncos star Israel Folau will quit NRL and join GWS team in AFL


Israel Folau

Making the leap...Israel Folau has decided to sign for the Greater Western Sydney AFL franchise. Source: The Courier-Mail

ISRAEL Folau has decided to walk out on rugby league and will sign a $1 million-a-season contract with the Greater Western Sydney AFL team by week's end.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal Folau has privately agreed to terms with the AFL's newest franchise - and he has even stated he is keen to play at full-forward.

"The deal with GWS will be done by the end of the week," a highly placed source confirmed last night.

Folau's decision will come as a massive blow to the NRL and will give the new GWS franchise a huge boost in terms of its profile in the Sydney market.

Queensland officials will now have to wrestle with the merits of playing Folau in Origin II.

The Melbourne Rebels were officially ruled out of the race for one of league's hottest talents last Friday.

 Folau, 21, grew up at Minto in western Sydney and will quickly settle back into the area with family when he starts the new mega-rich contract, worth $3 million over three years.


While sceptics will question the value of Folau's deal, AFL sources are confident he can make the transition - even comparing him to Hawthorn spearhead Lance Franklin due to his size, strength and speed. Folau has been tested by AFL experts and he was found to be strong in key performance areas.

"The same testing protocol that Karmichael Hunt went through Israel has gone through, and the same conclusions were drawn in terms of his capacity to successfully make the transition," said the source.

Recently asked what role he thought he could play should he switch codes, Folau said: "Maybe a full-forward or something like that. There would be a lot of skills I would have to learn to try to adapt to their game pretty quick. If I make the transition there, it's going to be a big challenge."

GWS will enter the VFL - the second-tier competition in Victoria - next season, where Folau will see his first Aussie rules action. Sydneysiders can expect to see Folau for the first time in his new code in the NAB Cup competition in February.

Folau discussed his future with former Broncos teammate and Gold Coast Football Club recruit Hunt this week. Like Hunt, Folau's contract will be heavily paid as promotional work with his playing salary more relative to his experience.

While Brisbane and rugby's Rebels were only able to offer Folau around $500,000 per year, GWS and the AFL blew the other codes out of the water with their lucrative package.

In AFL terms, it is his kicking ability that remains the biggest question mark hanging over his potential performance levels.

But former Collingwood full-forward and renowned kicking coach Brian Taylor yesterday said Folau's kicking skills could be brought up to speed.

"The really good teachers will tell you the blank canvas is better to work with than the one that has already been painted," Taylor said.

He said he understood the desire to play Folau at full-forward because other spots may not be suitable.

"There is no way he could play in the midfield," he said.

"He would be asked to run flat out for eight minutes. That would be a real concern. If I was playing fullback on Israel Folau the first thing I would do is take him in to traffic. Make him run. Make four or five leads."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DMG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2010 at 9:36am
bit late hawko!
 
i had the scoop hours ago!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mowie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2010 at 10:07am
smart move,get away from the under payed caveman game that no one follows,now your with the best game in the world Wink take that crap nrl
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote questions Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2010 at 11:45am
it is the worse thing they could of done for the gws. this is blue collar heart land and to pay someone $1mill and a queenslander at that. totally sends the wrong message to the people and will lead to an automatic hating of the team by the locals,

this is going to end bad for the locals. unless you are saying that it is possible for someone that has never played afl to come in and dominate then this will be the biggest joke of all. my only thoughts on the gws is that it is the best way to get back at the afl, watch them blow $40-$50million and then sit back as local melbourne clubs go under and the afl wont be interested in keeping them then. then who will be laughing
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shakamaker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2010 at 3:32pm
Can he kick?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote magic_idol Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2010 at 4:41pm
Is the AFL ranks so crap they have to steal league players @ millions of dollars what a laughLOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sporty Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2010 at 5:22pm
Originally posted by Shakamaker Shakamaker wrote:

Can he kick?
 
well his got feet hasn't he...LOLLOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shakamaker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2010 at 5:36pm
Originally posted by sporty sporty wrote:

Originally posted by Shakamaker Shakamaker wrote:

Can he kick?
 
well his got feet hasn't he...LOLLOL
 
I meant a ball LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote waggamick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2010 at 6:51pm
Drive around the Western Suburbs of Sydney and have a look at how many Islanders there are. A motive for his signing  may have been the establishment of the Islander-AFL connection. Rather than Islander kids automatically going to League or Union, they now have someone to identify with in AFL.
Of Tongan extraction and born in MINTO...went to LURNEA PS and WESTFIELDS HIGH...a WESTIE...hardly a Queenslander.
All he has to do now is be a success.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TIGER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2010 at 8:15pm
Originally posted by mowie mowie wrote:

smart move,get away from the under payed caveman game that no one follows,now your with the best game in the world Wink take that crap nrl
 
Thats up there with the Yanks calling the Baseball the World Series.Wink
 
If the AFL want to spend millions on League players who have never kicked a football more than 20mtrs well so be it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jolls Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2010 at 8:21pm
Cant blame him for wanting to get away from the "run 5m, get tackled, run 3m, get tackled, etc". Will be interesting to see what sort of position they groom him for. He's 195cm so id think either CHF or CHB but you need to be able to read the game exceptionally well to be any good at those positions which you would imagine will take him time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Znatchy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2010 at 8:21pm
Originally posted by magic_idol magic_idol wrote:

Is the AFL ranks so crap they have to steal league players @ millions of dollars what a laughLOL

Quite the opposite.  The AFL has the best athletes in the country, that is why the NRL's best players want to take it on.  Plus, they realise that Rugby League is an inferior sport.  I'm sure they can earn more money playing League in Europe.

The NRL is an hilarious competition.  It's crowds are small & it survives purely on TV money from Nine & Foxtel (who owns a handful of the clubs!!).  I think the NRL is the laugh Magic Idol.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kong Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2010 at 8:56pm
football doesnt rely on instincts or as the old fella's call it footy smarts anymore.

afl clubs draft kids all the time who have played little football and educate them were to run etc etc. some are basketballers or irishmen.

Folau has a mature body and has played elite sport. (yes different game Wink) He will adapt better than the majority think.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote orpen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2010 at 9:03pm
Can't see Folau drawing many of the Islanders from out west to AFL. Body type is all wrong. They are built heavy, powerful.. great for explosive contact sport like league, but not suited to aerobic skill based AFL or Basketball.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TIGER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2010 at 9:14pm

Lets be honest,he is not going to the AFL because its a better sport,he is going for the $$$$.

He will come back once he is in the VFL and the money dissapears.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote questions Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2010 at 9:53pm
i can see him being effective especially in marking and body strength, he has an amazing leap and timing and able to control the ball quite well, once he gets used to shape and feel of the ball. i could only see him as a full forward. dont want him trying to pin point kicks, kicking is not his skill. karmichael hunt can kick effectively and i could see him being on the backline running through the middle but not falau.

he is a recognisable face that the marketing department is paying $1mill a year to visit schools in the local area and get them in the door. great for him and dont blame him at all for taking the cash. prob com back to league in a couple of years but no way would the nrl ever get to the point to pay him $1mill, not in the next 20years. he is an attacking centre and a good one but to get anywhere near that money you need to be a 7, 6 or 1. if they did introduce a $1mill player  he would not be mentioned.

and no offence znatchy but this is about money and money only. if you want to face up to a challenge you go for less money, like when burgess came to australia, to test himself and he will be earning less than if he stayed in england.

when you need to be paid 2.5 times the amount you are currently earning in order to face a challenge, i be thinking other things are a priority.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Znatchy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2010 at 10:07pm
Yep - that's probably fair.  I presume he could earn a few million a year o/s though?  Didn't that guy with the big hair from the Storm go to England or France for a few mill a season?

The NRL does not help itself by being a poor competition though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote orpen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2010 at 11:16pm
How do you reckon players like J Brown, L Franklin, C Judd, G Ablett etc. should now be valued. Proven top level premiership champions. They must be shaking their heads, or just waiting in anticipation for when their contracts are up for renewal.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wortel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jun 2010 at 2:04am
I don't think he's doing it for the money.

Nobody likes being stripped of a premiership. Can only imagine what he thinks about the League suits.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote saintly96 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jun 2010 at 2:12am
What a gimmick.

He is just keeping a deserving young lad off a list because the AFL are trying to create a niche with the people of Sydney.

This side will not be popular (especially if they lose some early games). He is being paid a king's ransom compared to some of the games real stars. It is a joke.

The AFL needs less teams to make it a fairer, more even competition, not more sides.

This does nothing to enhance the AFL as a great competition, or even a fair competition.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TIGER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jun 2010 at 3:36am
Wortel
 
He left the Storm and went to Brisbane to apparently be with his family as he was homesick,now all of a sudden he first wanted to head back Melbourne and join the Rebels and now wants to join GWS....Its all about the money and only the money.(dont blame him though for wanting the money)
 
The reason why the NRL cant compete with English Super League and Jap Rugby is because of private ownerships, huge money on offer and the Aus Dollar against the English Pound.As for X NRL players on 1Million plus a season in England is a fairytale.
 
Im sure if the AFL was played in other countries they to face the same problems as the NRL.
 
Both codes will survive,the NRL wouldnt be worried about the AFL and vice versa.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote waggamick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jun 2010 at 3:47am
Not having the best kick is a minor concern when :
a) You see players being protected in AFL teams and handballing rather than resorting to a kick and;
b) You see some damn awful kicking from AFL players who are supposed to be good kicks...especially from set shots.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote scamanda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jun 2010 at 4:36am
Folau is a great league player. AFL is another kettle of fish though.

The NRL will miss him for about 5 minutes.
Then he will be replaced by another rising star.

Gasnier, Hunt, Williams and now Folau are just hunting for the cash being offered by other codes to league players to try and downgrade the league. They are over paid by Union and the AFL while the players that have busted their butts for their AFL team are left with the crumbs.LOL

Folau went to Qld because he could get more money and denied his home state. Just like Inglis.Thumbs Down
They can both go. Plenty of others to step into their shoes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Go Flash Go Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jun 2010 at 4:41am
He'll have no idea and the thing about islanders is that they don't have much stamina so will be worse than the indeginous players at running out a game (or season).
As for drawing a crowd ? If an AFL player went elsewhere how many fans would follow ?? They don't even care after they move clubs LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote waggamick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jun 2010 at 6:34am
With up to 150 interchanges a game and the average stint being around 8 minutes, I'd say he would get plenty of time to acclimatise.
 Given his size I would suggest that he would not be an onballer and would make his way up and down the centre of the ground.
Sheedy is no fool...he'll be nurtured.
Interesting to see Sheedy's reference to Polynesian players as potential AFL'ers on the 7pm Project.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wortel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jun 2010 at 7:01am
Needs to be a forward and a good one but cannot see him ever being worth the money as a player.
 
Only as a promotional tool to put on posters.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DMG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jun 2010 at 7:19am
only time will tell
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote questions Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jun 2010 at 8:08pm
interestingly the stats on his kicking prowess where released, so far in 80 games he has kicked 8 times with his longest kick being a massive 23m.

and in the press conference they asked him which position he would want to play and he could not name one position. in the end said where ever sheedy wants him.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tommo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jun 2010 at 8:33pm
Interesting move.  Certainly has put the spotlight on AFL in NZ so already proving to be a good gimmick.  Not convinced about Hunt but I think Falou might prove to be an exciting prospect in AFL as there is no doubting his talent.  Doesn't really have the kicking game though does he?
 
Have many rugby/league players make a switch to AFL.  I only know of one AFL player to make a switch to Rugby, Nick Evans, and it took him a little bit but he transitioned very well to the point of being an All Black.
 
Union are looking into pinching AFL players and they need to with 5 Super 15 teams to find players for.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mc41 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jun 2010 at 9:12pm
Its a no brainer 
He is 21 about to earn 1.3M per year over 3 or 4 years, will be 25 when contract finishes he can then go back to RL if he chooses to do so.
Well done in setting himself up for life.
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