Longmire discounts AFL experience

Sydney coach John Longmire has discounted their overwhelming AFL grand final experience as an advantage, saying it is only what happens on Saturday that counts.

The clash with the Western Bulldogs will be the Swans’ third grand final since 2012.

By contrast, the Bulldogs’ selected 22 features no players with AFL grand final experience – the first time that has happened since St Kilda in 1997.

“Not necessarily – I don’t really subscribe to that,” Longmire said when asked if their experience was an asset.

“Once the ball bounces, it’s just about who executes their plan the best for the longest.

“Both teams go in with enormous faith in (their) systems and both teams go in with really good form.

“You have a look at the Doggies’ finals form … it’s outstanding.

“That recent form is what you look at and that carries more weight, I think, going into the game.”

Sydney won an epic 2012 grand final, but Hawthorn bounced them in the first half two years later for an emphatic win.

Longmire said their most recent grand final highlighted how the Swans must be on their guard against the Bulldogs.

“You have to be at your best – always – and anything less than that, you leave yourself open,” he said

“There’s no room for not being at your best.

“That’s the excitement of it, being at this time of year … to have that in front of us tomorrow.

“It’s the challenge that both teams are looking forward to, being at their best for the longest tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, Swans co-captain Jarrad McVeigh also said at Friday’s pre-game media conference that he would definitely play.

McVeigh (calf) and teammate Callum Mills (hamstring) were recalled from injury.

McVeigh conceded there was some risk in his return, but added he had done everything right in the last fortnight.

“I got through the training session really well and the plan throughout the last two weeks has always stayed the same,” McVeigh said.

“It was to train Wednesday, do a bit of running and then do a lot more than the boys today.

“I did that, I feel great and I’m ready to go tomorrow … I’ve ticked all the boxes.”

Longmire was also adamant that McVeigh and Mills are right to play.

“We’re really happy with the 22 that we’ve got.”

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