Swans must lift in AFL, says coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swans must lift in AFL, says coach

Roger Vaughan And Greg Buckle 17/09/2011 02:47:39 PM Comments (0)

Sydney coach John Longmire has warned that improvement must come largely from within if the Swans are to rise up from their AFL holding pattern.

For the second-straight year, Sydney won an elimination final and then had to travel to Melbourne for a semi-final, which they lost to end their season.

On Friday night they bravely recovered from a poor first half to scare Hawthorn, but ultimately they had given the Hawks too big a start and lost by 36 points.

There has been much to like about the Swans in Longmire's first year as senior coach, but he notes their skills must improve.

Also, Tadhg Kennelly has retired, the recruiting of Daniel Bradshaw failed because of injury and Craig Bolton is also gone.

"A lot of our players improved, whether they were younger players right through to a bloke who played his 300th tonight (Adam Goodes)," Longmire said.

"We need to keep improving.

"Last year and this year with compromised drafts, it's very difficult to do that in this window at the moment. You're not going to just go out there and get high draft picks and bring them into your team.

"So you've got to be creative and essentially improve the players you've got on your list and that's what our challenge is."

While Kennelly, Bradshaw and Bolton have retired, youngsters such as Alex Johnson and Luke Parker showed steady progress this season.

Key forward Sam Reid had a quiet night against Hawthorn, but he has been a revelation this year and has the potential to take over the role that the Swans hoped Bradshaw would fill in front of goals.

"We've played some really good young kids," Longmire said.

"A lot of our older players have played pretty consistent seasons.

"But ultimately it's pretty hard to be too positive if you're sitting here after a loss in a final."

The Swans took a risk against Hawthorn on another youngster, second-year midfielder Dan Hannebery, who had suffered a dislocated shoulder in last week's win over St Kilda.

Hannebery's shoulder came out again against the Hawks, but Longmire defended playing him.

"The reality was he had the same injury to his other shoulder last year and we played him and he was able to get through and play pretty well," Longmire said.

"You get to this time of the year and you look across your list and we need to play our better players at the moment.

"We spoke to our doctors and everyone was confident that he was able to play.

Kennelly was optimistic about the Swans' future, saying the transition of coaches from Paul Roos to Longmire had gone well.

"It's in great hands with 'Horse' (Longmire) now," he said.

"The hardest part is if you don't make the top four, it's hard to play finals to back up a week again away from home.

"That's where the improvement needs to come, throughout the year itself. We just need to be more consistent."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news