Hawthorn and Sydney’s coaches both say late team changes are unlikely for Saturday’s AFL grand final at the MCG despite expected wet, windy weather.
Players from the two clubs were forced to sit inside vehicles to shelter from the rain, rather than ride in the open on the back of them, during Friday’s grand final parade through the centre of Melbourne.
The forecast is for rain, heavy wind and possible thunder and hail in Melbourne on Saturday, prompting speculation either club might change their selected 22 to suit the conditions.
But Swans coach John Longmire said that was unlikely to happen.
“At the moment the team’s as named. I don’t expect any changes between now and game day,” Longmire told reporters at Friday’s grand final press conference.
Hawthorn counterpart Alastair Clarkson said Melbourne’s weather was unpredictable, but both clubs had played in vastly different conditions during the season and would handle whatever they faced on Saturday.
“I can probably speak on behalf of both sides,” Clarkson said.’
“You play in this game, you play in hot weather, you play in cold weather, you play all sorts of different shaped grounds.
“As long as they’ve got goalposts and you’ve got 22 blokes each, you just prepare to have a crack at each other.
“That will be the case tomorrow.
“We know Sydney are tough and hard whether they play in dry conditions or whether in the wet and they know that we’re the same.
“It’s a grand final, so it’s a fierce contest, so we’re looking forward to the contest.”
Longmire said there might have to be some adjustments to his side’s set-up throughout the game, but that would depend on the state of the match as much as the conditions.
“It’s always a work in progress, nothing’s ever set in concrete to say this is the way we’re going to play,” the Swans coach said.
“You need to be flexible and adaptable during the course of the game.
“I’m sure both teams will chuck up different forward set-ups at different times.”