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AFL News: Longmuir signs miniscule contract extension, big Crows blow as spearhead ruled out

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14th March, 2024

17:42 14/03/2024
AFL Dockers
Fremantle lock in coach Justin Longmuir until 2025
By: Justin Chadwick
Location: Perth
Source: AAP

Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir has two more years to show he is the man to guide the club to long-term success after being handed a contract extension.

Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir has been handed a surprise one-year contract extension on the eve of the Dockers’ AFL season, tying him to the club until the end of 2025.

Longmuir was entering the final year of his contract this season, with the spotlight set to shine brightly on him following Fremantle’s crash to 14th place in 2023.

But the Dockers have decided to remove any uncertainty – at least for the time being – by handing Longmuir a deal that runs through 2025.

It means the 43-year-old coach has two more years to prove he has what it takes to lead Fremantle to a period of prolonged success.

“We believe in what we are building here at the Fremantle Dockers,” the club’s chief executive Simon Garlick said in a statement.   

“Justin embodies the coaching excellence and vision that aligns with our ambitions.  


“He has an incredible handle on the game and is passionate about teaching it in a way that resonates with and is impactful to his players.   

“We strongly believe in the program that Justin, our playing group and overall football department are embedding and driving, and the decision to extend his contract is aligned with what we believe we can achieve in the coming years and beyond.”  

Longmuir expressed his appreciation for the new deal. 

“I am grateful for the continuity this brings to the team,” he said.   

“The club’s support, especially through the recent alterations and additions to our football department, has been significant.  

“I am extremely excited by the playing group, coaching team and support staff around me, all of whom I have complete trust in.  


“This team is the most connected group I have encountered during my tenure and I am eager to see what we can achieve.”  

Under Longmuir, the Dockers returned to finals in 2022 for the first time since 2015.

Appointed in September 2019, Longmuir has coached Fremantle in 82 games – overseeing 40 wins, one draw, and 41 losses.

Although Fremantle are being widely tipped to miss the finals this year, optimism within the talent-laden squad remains strong.

The Dockers’ season kicks off on Sunday against the Brisbane Lions at Optus Stadium.


Dockers coach Justin Longmuir talks to his team

Justin Longmuir. (Photo by Jono Searle/AFL Photos/via Getty Images )


Tigers to manage Lynch on senior return

Richmond coach Adem Yze is confident returning spearhead Tom Lynch can have an impact in limited minutes against Carlton as the Tigers seek a response to their opening-round flop.

Lynch, Dustin Martin and Tony Nankervis will all feature in Thursday night’s AFL blockbuster at the MCG after sitting out Saturday night’s 39-point loss to Gold Coast.

Brilliant key forward Lynch hasn’t played since breaking his foot in round four last year but has been carefully built up and will clearly give Richmond more structure up forward.

“He would have struggled to get up for a five-day break. So the plan around him playing this game was just the smartest option. But he’s got a good block of training,” Yze said.

“But we’ve got to temper that with the fact that we’re still going to manage him through his first game of footy for 12 months.

“So he’s not going to have massive game time, he’s going to be off the ground, which he’s not gonna like.


“But… he’s too important for us to go out and string him out for 100 minutes of the game. But it’s just good to have the big fella back.”

Yze was confident the patient build-up to Lynch’s recovery would allow the hulking forward to make an impact against the Blues.

“He’s a competitive guy that he’ll want to have an impact on the game,” Yze said.

“So he’s ready to play, we’ll just manage his game time.

“Not to say that he’ll play 50 per cent because we need him out there a fair bit more than that.”

Martin will balance his time between midfield and attack on his return from a corked calf.


Richmond have also welcomed back forward Rhyan Mansell from his pre-season syndesmosis injury.

Yze axed former Hawk Jacob Koschitzke, Sam Banks, Sam Naismith and Samson Ryan.

Carlton included Corey Durdin on the bench, with Sam Docherty (ACL) the only exclusion.

Richmond shipped 11 goals in a row against the Suns to trail by 67 points in the second quarter but responded to spare some blushes.

“I thought our response came after half-time so we’re hoping we’ve found that formula and hope we just start that way,” Yze said.

“Our players would be embarrassed with the way we started.


“We reviewed that. We had the review really quickly, obviously with the five-day break.

“So we did that. We had a bit of cleansing session over in the Gold Coast to get that out of the way so that when we walked back in the building here we could focus on Carlton. So our players have done that really well.”

Yze admitted inexperienced key backs Josh Gibcus and Tylar Young would have their work cut out against Blues power forwards Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay.

Suns talls Ben King and Jack Lukosius put Richmond’s defence to the sword first-up.

“We’ve got some options but I think that’s gonna keep me up at night, the two big forwards for the Blues,” Yze said.

“They’re two amazing players and (an) awesome opportunity for some young players, hopefully.”



Tom Lynch will play his first AFL game since Round 4, 2023 on Thursday night. (Photo by Sarah Reed/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Big Crow blow with spearhead to miss Round 1

Adelaide’s ace forward Taylor Walker has been ruled out of his club’s AFL season opener against Gold Coast.

The All Australian attacker has failed to train in recent days because of a back  injury ahead of the Crows’ away clash against the Suns on Saturday night.

Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks says the 33-year-old won’t be risked after being sidelined from the Crows’ main training session on Wednesday.

“He won’t play, unfortunately,” Nicks told SEN SA radio.

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“Not quite what we were after today, and there won’t be a risk taken with that.

“It’s obviously not ideal when you lose the experience of Tex (Walker).”

Walker’s absence follows fellow forward Riley Thilthorpe being ruled out for three months because of a knee injury.

Thilthorpe was hurt in the final quarter of Adelaide’s last trial game against West Coast.

The injuries will force Nicks to recast his attack, with former Sun Chris Burgess to make his debut for the Crows, and 12-gamer Lachlan Gollant also in the selection frame.

“Both of those players deserve the opportunity, unfortunately it comes through someone else’s misfortune in Riley Thilthorpe,” Nicks told reporters earlier on Wednesday.


“But that’s the way the game works.

“We have a squad mentality that the next one is ready to step up.

“We’ll need that back-up ruck, and Burgess has done a lot of that over his career, Lachie Gollant has pinch-hit at times for us.”

Nicks is entering his fifth year as Adelaide’s coach, with his contract expiring at season’s end, but said there was “no panic” about sealing a fresh deal.

Matthew Nicks, Senior Coach of the Crows

Matthew Nicks is entering his fifth season as Adelaide coach. (Photo by James Elsby/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

“It would be nice to have a (new) contract done,” Nicks said.

“But at the same time it hasn’t been the focus for me or the footy club.


“The focus has been about the off-season, preparing, improving on last year.

“It (another contract) is still not really the focus at the moment, but conversations are being had and there’s no panic around that.

“That will look after itself and I’m confident we’re on the same page from a point of view of what I’m looking for in the future and what the footy club wants to do.”

Nicks welcomed bullish forecasts of Adelaide returning to the finals for the first time since losing the 2017 decider.

“There’s a lot of expectation out there, as there should be,” he said.


“But at the same time … you have got to earn the right to get in there.

“That’s where we’re at at the moment. We’re a young side, we’re still developing … but we’re going to embrace the expectation.”