Bring on the Bombers: Longmire - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bring on the Bombers: Longmire

James Dampney 28/03/2011 05:13:22 PM Comments (0)

Sydney coach John Longmire can't wait to take on a rejuvenated Essendon at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.

The Swans have a long-held reputation as one of the AFL's best at winning contested balls, but Longmire felt they were below par in that area in their opening-round draw against Melbourne on Sunday.

Under new coach James Hird, Essendon showed that pressure football and hardness at the footy are integral parts of their new regime during their 55-point thrashing of the Western Bulldogs.

So Longmire is relishing the prospect of his players testing themselves against the Bombers.

"Essendon are looking very good," Longmire told reporters in Sydney.

"They're up and about, there's no doubt about that, but we look forward to playing them.

"To beat a top-four team from last year as well as they did is a credit to them, but I know our players are really looking forward to the challenge.

"We can't wait for the game to start."

The Swans had more than enough chances to beat the Demons on Sunday, but wasted their opportunities in the third quarter and needed a late Ryan O'Keefe behind just to split the points.

"They're disappointed we didn't make the most of our chances, there's no doubt," Longmire said.

"When we had the opportunity to put the score on the board, we didn't.

"But the other side of the coin is you look at the contested ball and we were a bit off in that area and need to improve on it, especially against a team like Essendon that are really hard at it at the moment.

"There's personnel and having the right players around the ball, but mostly it's mindset and making sure your contested possessions are up and tackle efficiency is where it needs to be.

"We just need to make sure we get that stuff right."

Sydney defenders Lewis Roberts-Thomson (hamstring) and Tadhg Kennelly (knee) are expected to play in the reserves this week, while Daniel Bradshaw will again rest his troublesome knee.

Small forwardJarred Moore (ankle) is a chance to return against the Bombers, although midfielder Jude Bolton showed his ability to fill a role up forward with three goals against Melbourne.

"I think that's just the modern game," Longmire said.

"With three on your bench, you've got to make sure your midfielders rotate forward.

"There's no doubt when Jude went forward, he provided a real option for us and he's a smart forward.

"We'd like him back in the midfield at times, I don't think it's just one or the other.

"All players will have to get used to playing in different positions."

Longmire gave a brief insight into his feelings about the result against Melbourne when he was asked about O'Keefe's late snap.

"I was hoping at the time he would've kicked the goal, it would've been fantastic," he said.

"But if you look at the key stats, we were minus-35 in contested footy.

"If you want to look at a reason why we lost the game, sorry, why we drew the game, it was that."

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