Longmire tips Sydney to keep players - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Longmire tips Sydney to keep players

By Adrian Warren 04/08/2011 07:32:29 PM Comments (0)

Sydney coach John Longmire is confident his club can hang on to its required players, despite the looming shadow of cross-town rival Greater Western Sydney and the impending spectre of AFL free agency.

Longmire said he would be uncomfortable if one of his players followed the example of Adelaide defender Phil Davis, who earlier this week announced he was leaving to join GWS next season.

The Swans coach said he would also be uncomfortable about picking a player who had expressed a desire to play elsewhere next year.

Longmire said he wasn't aware GWS or any other club had been sniffing around any of his players coming off contract and felt Sydney were well positioned to retain those they wanted to stay.

"We are very confident that we have got the set-up up at the footy club and the people involved to keep the people that we want to keep," Longmire said on Thursday.

Longmire said he hoped the AFL would not go the same way as the NRL where mid-season announcements of players changing clubs the following year have become common place.

"I know free agency is coming in very shortly. I'm not sure how much it will change the face of football," he said.

"I still think that clubs work very hard to maintain their talent and, from a football perspective and also a life perspective and also a welfare perspective, clubs are generally very good at doing that.

"I think there are going to be exceptions but, I think as a general rule, I can't see the landscape changing too dramatically outside this unique environment we are in at the moment."

Longmire confirmed Sydney had extended the contract of co-captain and 293-game stalwart Adam Goodes for one more season, until the end of the 2013 campaign.

He hoped Sydney's other veteran Jude Bolton will shortly finalise a deal to play on next year, describing him as "critical to our midfield".

Sydney named an unchanged 22 for Saturday's clash with Essendon at Etihad Stadium, just the second time this year they retained the same side in successive rounds.

With a number of players, including impressive youngster Gary Rohan scheduled to return from injury in the reserves this weekend, Longmire was bullish about sixth-placed Sydney's prospects.

"I'm really excited by the last part of the season, but we know we've got a big challenge," Longmire said.

"There's Essendon this week who are in that finals race as well as we are, and are fighting for the spots that we will be fighting for."

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