When Kevin met Sir Alex

Kevin Sheedy has invited legendary Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson to visit the Giants during his trip to Australia with the Red Devils next July.

Sheedy met Ferguson at Old Trafford as part of a fact-finding mission by the GWS and Ferguson will be in Sydney when United play the A-League All-Stars.

"I want to thank Sir Alex in particular for the chance to meet because I have always admired him from afar. Between us we have more than 50 years experience coaching in our respective leagues and I hope to return the favour next year," Sheedy said.

"He was not only very generous with his time but very personable and we canvassed a range of subjects from coaching to player development and recruiting. We even chatted about horse racing and I gave him a couple of bottles of Australian red wine, a Sherrin and a Giants jumper as a way of thanking him."

Sheedy and Giants CEO David Matthews attended last weekend's thrilling derby between Manchester United and Manchester City, which United won 3-2.

"We looked at a number of aspects of Manchester United's operations from football to its commercial operations to fan development and its stadium operations and this has provided us with some great learnings," said Matthews.

Sheedy and Matthews have already said they would like to play overseas in 2013.

"We met with AFL Europe and it was clear how important it was for them to have the London game back on. We want to play in it and personally I think it should be considered as Round 1 of the NAB Cup to put more at stake," Sheedy said.

"The last five days have reaffirmed to me we have to do more to grow awareness of our game internationally. We shouldn't have to explain what the game is, people should know because it is a great game with great athletes.

"As an industry we are investing plenty of money a year into overseas training camps but I don't see them as delivering much of a legacy. What has the industry spent on international camps this year? Plenty. An offshore camp should be developing the code and finish with a match," Sheedy said.

This story When Kevin met Sir Alex first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.