Sydney AFL coach John Longmire knows better than most the qualities that make his Fremantle counterpart Ross Lyon one of the best in their trade.
Longmire and Lyon each served an apprenticeship as assistant coaches at Sydney under Paul Roos before getting a crack at a head coaching job.
Both are now among the most respected mentors in the AFL business.
Longmire succeeded Roos at Sydney, steering them to a premiership in 2012 and another grand final in 2014 and almost certainly now to a sixth finals appearance in as many seasons.
Lyon, who was also an assistant coach at Richmond and Carlton before joining Sydney, will miss out on the finals this year for just the second time in ten seasons as a head coach.
The other time was in his first year at St Kilda, but he subsequently coached in four grand finals across two clubs.
“He’s a fantastic fellow, I know what he’s like as a coach,” said Longmire, whose side plays Fremantle in Perth on Sunday.
“He’s a fierce competitor and so professional in his attitude.
“I also had the pleasure of rooming with him a few times when we had a couple of interesting trips.
“Particularly trying to get to sleep at night at different times when we were trying to scout opposition teams.
“He spent a fair bit of time here at the Swans and he’s just a fantastic coach and I really enjoy his company.
“But I’m sure we won’t be enjoying each other’s company this week.”
Although Freo have struggled this year, Longmire is preparing for a high pressure game from a Dockers side intent on marking Matthew Pavlich’s 350th game with a win.
“When you come up against a Ross Lyon coached team you know what you are going to get,” Longmire said.
“Generally it’s a pretty competitive disciplined outfit and I expect it will be no different this week.
“They do pressure hard around the ball, they are very disciplined in what they do with and without the ball.
“They get Matty Pavlich back in the team, so there’s some massive pluses for them and thats a terrific challenge for us.”