Paul Roos says no regrets
Having broken the AFL’s longest premiership drought along the journey, Paul Roos says he departs as Sydney’s coach with no regrets.
The AFL careers of Roos and skipper Brett Kirk ended following the Swans’ 11.11 (77) to 10.12 (72) semi-final defeat by the Western Bulldogs at the MCG on Saturday night.
Roos is confident his decision to walk away after eight and a half years, two grand final appearances, the 2005 premiership and an unexpected finals berth in his last season is the right one.
“When I played and finished my career, I knew it was time to leave and that’s the way I feel now,” Roos said.
“I’ve given it my all this year and the players have given it their all.
“Now it’s time to do something else – that’s a good barometer of whether you’ve made the right or wrong decision.
“I don’t sit here now with any regrets whatsoever … so that reinforces to me that I’ve made the right decision.”
Roos found himself installed as Sydney’s permanent coach by popular demand after making a huge impression as the seat-warmer when Rodney Eade was shown the door in late 2002.
He turned the Swans into an AFL benchmark, grinding out wins with a tough, contested style of football which inevitably resulted in nail-biting finishes.
The 2005 premiership win over West Coast was the first time the Swans had won a flag in 72 years since their forerunners South Melbourne’s last grand final triumph.
Kirk, 33, finishes up after 241 games – 200 of them consecutive in testament to his meticulous pre-match preparation and toughness.
He admitted his final match wasn’t one of his better ones, though it did feature a trademark courageous dive for the hardball which resulted in his face being bloodied.
“I had a bit of a dog of a night … but I just kept cracking in and I’m so grateful to be able to do something I love for so long,” he said.
Roos’ long-time assistant John Longmire takes over the reins from next season, and both Roos and Kirk are confident the club is in the best of hands and in good shape for further success.
“We’re in a good space now … to head into next year,” Kirk said.
“Probably midway through the year, we were a bit up and down and we were looking for some guys to stand up.
“At that point, we weren’t sure which way we were going to go.
“But this back end of the year, I’m really confident with John taking over and the strong culture we’ve put in place … the footy club is in good hands.”© AAP 2013