Hall 'won't be affected by SCG swansong' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hall 'won't be affected by SCG swansong'

By Adrian Warren 21/07/2011 06:58:47 PM Comments (0)

Sydney AFL coach John Longmire hopes former Swans' champion Barry Hall will go easy on his old club this Saturday, but doesn't expect the retiring Bulldog to get emotional about a potential SCG swansong.

Forward Hall, who announced earlier this week he was finishing at the end of this season, spent eight years at Sydney.

He played 162 games, including two grand finals and co-captained their 2005 premiership-winning team.

The Swans have never effectively replaced Hall, with Daniel Bradshaw forced to retire with a knee injury and promising youngster Sam Reid still learning his craft.

Barring an unlikely finals match between the Swans and Bulldogs, Saturday's match will be Hall's last at the SCG.

While 34-year-old Hall has always been a passionate player, Longmire doubted the occasion would impact on the forward's mindset.

"Not really, I think he's a real professional, Barry, and I think that's the way he goes about his footy," Longmire told reporters on Thursday.

"The last couple of years he's been very good at just making sure that he can get out on the training track and play well and I think that's what he'll do this week.

"He can kick goals, that's what I'm worried about. He's a superstar in the game. He knows the ground well.

"He looks as though he's in really good condition. I'm hoping that he comes up here and just goes easy on us."

Longmire said he hoped Hall received a good reception from Swans' supporters, as he deserved that after playing such a big part in the club's recent history.

Sydney made just one change to the team beaten by Fremantle last week, with veteran midfielder Jude Bolton returning after missing two games with a knee issue.

Bolton replaced big man Jesse White.

With more showers predicted for rain-drenched Sydney on Saturday, Longmire welcomed the timely return of the renowned wet weather warrior.

"He thrives under those conditions, so it will be good to have him in the centre square and really doing what he does best," Longmire said.

"He's a leader of our footy club. He's obviously a vital player for us."

With four losses in six SCG games this season, Longmire acknowledged eighth-placed Sydney couldn't afford to drop another game this weekend.

'We're desperate to do something about it, but the reality is we've got to do something about it this week. There's no ifs, buts or maybes," Longmire said.

"We need to make sure that the intensity we showed in the last quarter last week flows on from the first bounce this week.

"We want to make sure we control the momentum of the game early and the best way to do it is to jump out of the blocks."

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