Sydney coach John Longmire expects to have veteran key defender Heath Grundy at his disposal to help counter Richmond’s anticipated three-pronged tall forward assault on Friday.
The Swans resume after their bye with a 9-2 record, having reeled off six straight wins before their break.
Grundy jarred a knee in the Swans’ last game against North Melbourne prior to their bye.
His presence will be needed on Friday, as the Swans likely face the new-look Tigers forward setup of Jack Riewoldt, Ty Vickery and Ben Griffiths.
Richmond notched four straight victories before their break and Longmire remained impressed with the Tigers despite their last start loss to West Coast.
“They’ve got three talls in their forward line that are giving them a different look and their ball movement going forward has been very efficient,” Longmire said.
He anticipated Grundy would be available for Friday, but said impressive rookie Isaac Heeney and veteran forward-midfielder Ben McGlynn wouldn’t be considered for senior selection.
Teenage forward Heeney is however ready to resume in the Swans’ reserves after a knee injury in round six stalled his campaign, while McGlynn is still working to get back from a hamstring strain that has kept him out of the last two games
“Isaac will play, but he’ll come back through the reserves, he hasn’t quite got a gold card just yet,” Longmire joked.
“Benny McGlynn won’t be available to play this week, he’ll need another week of training under his belt”
Longmire foreshadowed an imminent move into midfield for Heeney, the youngest player on the Swans list.
His oldest player, Adam Goodes is the only Swan still at the club, who played in their 2005 premiership-winning team, who will be acknowledged before Friday’s game.
“His form over the last month has been terrific and that’s what he’s been focused on, he’s not looking back in the rear vision mirror ten years,” Longmire said of Goodes.
“He’s firmly looking at the present and what he can do going forward.”
Never one to talk his side up, Longmire wasn’t about to make any bold predictions despite the Swans being well placed at 9-2 and having already played away games against their major rivals Fremantle and Hawthorn.
“We’ve got to continue to work on all aspects of our game,” Longmire said.
Mike Pyke has been the only specialist ruckman Longmire has employed this season, but he anticipated using others during the second half of their campaign.
“You we need an entire group of ruckmen to get you through a season, and I’ve got no doubt we’ll need to draw upon those ruckmen in the back half of the year,” Longmire said.