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Giants take a punt on Danish midfielder

James Dampney  February 4, 2013 1:42 PM

Sheedy goes with a Bang Kevin Sheedy talks about the GIANTS search for the next big thing in Europe.
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Giants coach Kevin Sheedy

We have an obligation to invest in talented players, wherever they may be around the world, if we want to truly develop our game internationally
AFL CLUBS are continuing their worldwide search for playing talent, with Greater Western Sydney offering a scholarship to Danish midfielder Aksel Bang.

On top of the steady stream of Irishmen to our shores, Canadian rugby import Mike Pyke (Sydney Swans), Sudan's Majak Daw and American Eric Wallace (both North Melbourne) are among those adding some international flavour to the AFL scene.

Hawthorn has also recently signed three New Zealand prospects.

Now the Giants have reached out to 21-year-old Bang, who is rated the best AFL player in Europe and will train in Sydney this year.

He is expected to arrive in the Harbor City in April or May, during a break from a six-month stint of national service in Afghanistan with the Danish Army.

"AFL Europe has a done a lot of work building the code across the continent," GWS chief executive Dave Matthews said.

"And we think Aksel is deserving of an opportunity to further his skills and education in the game."

Bang discovered the sport two years ago during a trip to Australia and plies his trade with the Aalborg Kangaroos and Danish Vikings.

Considered the leading player in last year's Euro Cup, Bang will also play in the NEAFL with the UWS Giants.

The Giants have partnerships with clubs in England, Ireland, Croatia and Sweden and coach Kevin Sheedy has long championed the need to scour the globe for potential talent.

"We have an obligation to invest in talented players, wherever they may be around the world, if we want to truly develop our game internationally," Sheedy said.

"As someone who did national service himself, I look forward to learning more about Aksel and his experience in Afghanistan.

"He will learn a lot from spending time at an AFL club."

James Dampney is a reporter for AFL.com.au. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_JD