Longmire won't change Swans' style - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Longmire won't change Swans' style

Adrian Warren 25/03/2011 08:27:20 PM Comments (0)

Expect a nip here and a tuck there, but don't expect John Longmire to radically revamp the Swans' style as he makes his AFL coaching debut against Melbourne on Sunday.

Longmire served a lengthy apprenticeship under Paul Roos at Sydney, joining the club in 2002 as their forwards and ruck coach.

The former North Melbourne full forward now has the chance to put his own stamp on the club, but suggested he won't be straying too far from the formula which worked for his predecessor.

"I'm hoping the foundations of what we've been doing for a long time remain the same and that's contested football and concentrating on our defence," Longmire told reporters on Friday.

"It's really important areas of the game that most teams look at, but we've really had a foundation of that for the last few years, that's what I want to keep encouraging.

"Then, alongside that see the continued development of Gary Rohan, Lewis Jetta, Josh kennedy and Shane Mumford and these players that we've introduced into the team over the last 12 months."

Longmire's first team will include two debutants, 19-year-old Byron Sumner and former Western Bulldog Andrejs Everitt.

The selection of Sumner, who was used primarily in defence during the pre-season, means all five players Sydney picked up in the 2009 draft have graduated to senior level.

"I learnt a lot playing down back during the pre-season, growing up I was always on ball or playing up forward," Sumner said on Sydney's website.

Longmire said he had spoken to Roos a couple of times in recent days, but it had been "general chit chat" rather than footy talk.

"I'm very fortunate that he is literally only a five-minute walk away when I want to bounce things off him if I need to," Longmire said.

He said he couldn't have asked for a better attitude from his players during the pre-season.

Longmire and new Sydney co-captain Jarrad McVeigh were guarded about whether the Swans could improve enough to break into the top four.

"We finished fifth at the end of the season, so we're looking to improve, so however far that takes us we'll wait and see," McVeigh told reporters.

McVeigh said the Swans had spoken last week about their 73-point thrashing by Melbourne in round 17 of last year, but had now put it behind them.

"It's a new season, new circumstances, new players, that's not even in our thoughts at this moment," McVeigh said.

Longmire expects plenty of pressure and a hot, running game at the MCG against the Demons.

"They've got some enormous excitement in their team," Longmire said.

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