St Kilda big guns to test Swans: Longmire
Sydney coach John Longmire is relying on St Kilda’s “who’s who of grand final footy” to keep his red-hot AFL ladder-leading team focused at the SCG on Sunday.
The Swans have reeled off six straight wins but only lead Collingwood on percentage, with Hawthorn, West Coast and Essendon all starting round 17 just four points back.
Sydney should be brimming with confidence following a hugely impressive 52-point flogging of West Coast in Perth last weekend.
Already wary of the Saints following their 28-point win over the Swans in round nine, Longmire noted the Victorian club would be bolstered this week by the return of Brendon Goddard, Jack Steven and Terry Milera.
“Look at the fact that I think they’ve got 15 grand final players in their team this week and if you go through the names on the board, it’s almost a who’s who of grand final footy over the last few years,” Longmire said.
“They’ve got some superstars in their team and I’m hoping obviously the (Sydney) players look at that and realise that the challenge is ahead of them and to get their mind on the job pretty quickly.
“I’m confident they are, but we’ve got to make sure we do it, that’s the next step.
“We can talk about it but we’ve actually got to do it.
“We think that our leadership group drives the players pretty well and are able to keep our minds on the task ahead of us.
“When you look at what St Kilda did to us last time, it’s relatively easy to refocus on the job at hand.”
The Saints are the only team to kick a score of over 100 points against the Swans’ stingy defence this season.
Longmire said the Saints’ emerging small forward unit was one of their strengths and his defence needed to be sharp on Sunday.
“(Stephen) Milne – we know what a great player he has been for the St Kilda footy club over a long period of time,” Longmire said.
“A small forward to kick over 500 goals is just an indication of how good a player he has been and still is.
“The other couple of young small forwards they’ve got in the team now is really creating a few headaches.
“It gives them a few option forward of centre now and we know (former Sydney forward) Adam Schneider is back in the team as well.”© AAP 2013