Swans allow Buddy time to prove fitness

Sydney coach John Longmire is striving to get the balance right between giving recovering players some much needed game time and keeping the Swans AFL finals destiny in their own hands.


A big win over GWS combined with the Bulldogs loss to West Coast enabled Sydney to regain fourth spot with two rounds to go.

They are favoured to retain that place and the coveted finals double chance as their last two games are against stragglers St Kilda (away) and Gold Coast (home).

However, with two wins needed to secure that precious position, Longmire isn’t contemplating resting any players.

He will give forwards Lance Franklin (back) and Gary Rohan (knee) along with midfielder Tom Mitchell (eye) until Friday to prove their fitness for Sunday’s AFL clash with St Kilda.

“They are at different stages, we expect Franklin and Mitchell to do some training tomorrow and Gary Rohan will run tomorrow,” Longmire said.

“Hopefully they will all get to train fully on Friday.”

He is keen to get some playing time into Rohan, who has played just one of Sydney’s last seven games and Franklin who has appeared in just one of the last five.

“We’ve got a few blokes who have missed a bit of footy that we’d like to get some footy into and most importantly try and help us win this week.” Longmire said.

“We’re in a situation where our destiny is in our own hands and we need to be able to put our best team on the park this week.”

Longmire said Franklin had done the required amount of running over the past week as well as some ball work, while Ben McGlynn, who has been battling hamstring issues is also pushing for a return.

“He needs to be able to be running around and feeling good about it to be available for selection for Sunday,” Longmire said of Franklin.

The fitness tests later this week will determine whether rookie forward James Rose gets a chance to play his second senior game after an impressive three-goal final quarter debut cameo last Saturday.

“(We had) seven players under 50 games and to have a first gamer come on and kick three goals in a quarter was a good sign for us,” Longmire said.

“We’d like to be able to look at him this week, but it depends on the other guys, with Rohan, McGlynn, Mitchell and Franklin, those guys coming back into the mix.”