Longmire Kangaroo history gives Swans edge - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Longmire Kangaroo history gives Swans edge

Adrian Warren 24/05/2011 07:29:18 PM Comments (0)

Sydney coach John Longmire is acutely aware of the mindset of the struggling Kangaroos, as he prepares to coach for the first time against the AFL club he served with distinction as a player.

Longmire spent 12 seasons at the Kangaroos forming a formidable dual key forward combination with Wayne Carey and played his 200th and final game for the club in their 1999 grand final win.

The Kangaroos are languishing in 14th spot following a loss to previously winless Brisbane and their plight might prompt them this Saturday at Etihad Stadium to summon up some of that famous Shinboner spirit the club is renowned for.

"I know North Melbourne reasonably well and what I do know is that when they get gnarly they will come out and give their best effort, so we will expect that," said Longmire, a North Melbourne life member.

He said he still had some very good friends at North Melbourne including match committee members Darren Crocker, Brett Allison and Donald McDonald.

"I don't get too emotional about coaching against an old club, it's more about making sure that our players play the best they can for this week," Longmire said.

He is seeking an improved effort from his club, who slumped to eighth on the ladder following last Sunday's 46-point home loss to Hawthorn.

Asked about potential team changes following Sydney's heaviest loss of the season, Longmire said he was confident the Swans had a few players waiting in the wings who were in good form.

Among the contenders for elevation to the senior side are 20-year-old key position player Lewis Johnston, who has yet to play a senior game.

Initially used as a forward Johnston can now play down back as well according to Longmire, after filling a defensive role in the reserves for most of this season.

"He (Johnston) has been going really well," Longmire said.

"Brett Meredith is another one that can be brought in, and Mark Seaby is doing all he can, so there are a few options for us."

Longmire said the Swans were still pondering on whether to bring in Seaby as a specialist backup ruckman to Shane Mumford, who has shouldered most of the load in that area this season, or release one of their big men forward to support youngsters Sam Reid and Andrejs Everitt.

"At the moment we know we haven't quite got the mix right. But we'll make sure we'll trial some things and give some players some opportunities," Longmire said.

Youngster Gary Rohan will undergo an arthroscope on his right knee on Wednesday, while club best and fairest Kieren Jack, ruckman Mike Pyke and defender Matt Spangler could all return from injury next week.

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