Sydney Swans chairman Andrew Pridham dismisses reports of North Melbourne bid for John Longmire


“This happens every year – stuff goes on about players and coaches and you’ve just got to focus on what you’re doing.”

Longmire dismissed links to North Melbourne when asked last month, pointing to his contract with Sydney, where he is in his ninth year as senior coach, having previously served as an assistant since 2002.

True grit: The Swans celebrate a Lance Franklin goal against West Coast on Sunday.Credit:AAP

The Swans expect him to sign an extension at some stage this year, but are yet to open formal negotiations, and there seems to be no timeline set to do so.

“Certainly none of us feel any urgency because he’s contracted for next year,” Pridham said.

“He’s been very, very focused on team performance, so we don’t want to distract him from that either. Last time we extended his contract it was done in July the year before he was out. If we did it on exactly the same timetable it’d be by the end of next month. It just depends on how long it takes.”

The Swans made a scratchy start to the season, but the fruits of Longmire’s on-the-run rebuild have started to appear in recent weeks. Sunday’s 45-point win over West Coast was one of the best victories Longmire said he could remember, with several young players, such as Tom Papley and George Hewett, hugely influential.

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“I’ve been around for a long time at the club and I’m as excited as I’ve ever been,” Pridham said. “There’s a really good mix of experience and youth.

“We’ve always had confidence we’d get there. We were a bit unsettled earlier in the year down back with some injuries, but there’s plenty to look forward to – and also the new training facilities, our offices and gym we’ll be building – there’s a really good vibe around despite being out of the eight, which is unusual for us.”

Sydney have the bye this weekend, while North Melbourne take on Greater Western Sydney in Tasmania, a clash that pits caretaker coach Rhyce Shaw against his brother, Giants veteran Heath.

Rhyce has steered the Kangaroos to two wins from two since taking the reins from Scott and AFL insiders believe a few more wins will leave the club with little choice but to appoint him full-time and abandon planned pursuits of others like Longmire.



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