Swans grieve for Jarrad McVeigh's daughter - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swans grieve for Jarrad McVeigh's daughter

By Rob Forsaith 25/08/2011 07:22:29 PM Comments (0)

Sydney coach John Longmire is confident Luke Parker will add strength to the Swans' midfield in the absence of grief-stricken co-captain Jarrad McVeigh.

But the club is only concerned about McVeigh's loss, not the team's loss of McVeigh.

The midfielder's daughter Luella, who was born on July 25 with serious heart complications, died in hospital on Wednesday, with the child's parents by her side.

McVeigh had been training regularly over the last month and played a key hand in Sydney's last-start win over St Kilda on Sunday, a stoic performance Longmire lauded as inspirational.

He will miss the Swans' clash with Geelong with the players to don black armbands for the match on Saturday at Skilled Stadium.

Longmire said the entire club felt for Jarrad and wife Clementine and will support them as much as they can.

"Hopefully they'll work through it at some stage. It's going to take a long time but we're there for them every step of the way," Longmire said.

"He's obviously upset - as you can imagine he and Clementine have been remarkable really, considering the circumstances.

"We're just allowing him time to do what he needs to do with his family, that's the most important thing for Jarrad."

Longmire spoke highly of Parker, McVeigh's likely replacement in the midfield.

"Luke Parker missed out last week and we probably thought he was a bit unlucky to miss out last week," he said.

"He's a big-bodied midfielder. When you go down to Geelong you look at the size of their bodies - and while he's only an 18-year-old kid, he's got a strong body and he's a terrific competitor."

However ultimately McVeigh's loss made every AFL club's on-field struggles look trivial.

"You'd hope it doesn't take something like this to make sure you've got a reasonable perspective on life," Longmire said.

"We all understand what the real challenges are in life. There is no doubt Jarrad and Clementine have faced an enormous challenge over the past month and they've still got some challenges ahead of them."

Longmire called the players to the club on Wednesday afternoon to break the sad news, and expects they'll all handle the death of McVeigh's baby daughter differently.

"We wanted the players to know as soon as possible. He's obviously got some very good friends here as you could imagine," Longmire said.

"They've had a bit of time to digest the news.

"We've always got that (counselling) available. We're fortunate enough to have some very good people that we can use at the football club that are available at all times.

"I think it's important to acknowledge that ... everyone's different, everyone will handle it differently, so it's not just one size fits all and we need to acknowledge that as a football club."

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