Isaac Heeney says a NSW State of Origin team would provide a stern test for the traditional AFL states. Picture: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images.
Isaac Heeney says a NSW State of Origin team would provide a stern test for the traditional AFL states. Picture: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images.

Heeney dreams of NSW glory

ISAAC Heeney would love to see State of Origin revived in AFL and is convinced NSW boasts enough talent to more than give the other states a serious run for their money.

However, the Swans star, along with a number of other Sydney-based players cannot see it happening any time soon due to demands on players, premiership priorities and scheduling headaches.

The Maitland-born 23-year-old loves his rugby league, played the game before switching to AFL and was a huge Anthony Minichiello fan.

Nothing would make him prouder than to pull on a NSW guernsey but he isn't expecting it to happen any time soon.

The last official Origin involving AFL players was held in 1999.

But leaving club concerns, injury fears and the small matter of scheduling aside, there's no question the 'romance' of the concept still appeals.

"I was speaking to a few of the boys recently and I think there's enough quality coming from NSW to mean that it would have a competitive side if it ever came back," Heeney said.

"You've only got to cover 22 or 24 people and I think you'd be surprised if you went through and found how many people there are players who were born in NSW.

Heeney is keen to line up in the sky blue. Picture: AAP Image/Joel Carrett.
Heeney is keen to line up in the sky blue. Picture: AAP Image/Joel Carrett.

"Looking at the Swans, you've the likes of Jarrad McVeigh, Kieren Jack, Dane Rampe. Then the younger fellas James Bell, Wicksy (Sam Wicks), there's a fair few and I'm sure I've missed a couple.

"I'd love to (play for NSW). I'd be extremely proud and it would be amazing for the fans but the clubs are going to suffer from it, so a bit of a Catch-22.

Heeney's Swans teammate Dan Menzel added: "I think it's got to be done the right way in AFL to get the interest. But certainly in terms of players I have no doubt they'd love to play in some sort of game around that. Looking back in the day they did it really well and guys loved it."

Across town at the Giants, experienced ruckman Shane Mumford echoes the thoughts of the Swans duo.

"I'd love to see it come back," he said. "The hard thing is the scheduling I think. There's always the risk of injury that worries the clubs. I'm sure the players would be happy to put their hands up."

Mick McGuane, who represented Victoria, is sad that today's stars are starved of the chance to represent their state.

"As a player you strive to be in and amongst the action of being with the best players in the comp in one team," he said. "It's a chance to make a statement about who the best state is when it comes to AFL footy. It was something to behold."