SwansTV: Longmire pre-Christmas press conference
Swans head coach John Longmire spoke to the media before the teams pre-Christmas break
I’ve been really pleased with the way the players came back and the condition they are in
Sydney Swans coach John Longmire said his players’ commitment in the off-season has set them up for a positive start to the club’s pre-season program.
Following the Swans’ premiership win in 2012, the club’s off-season started significantly later than the bulk of other AFL clubs, but Longmire said the Swans have done everything possible to catch up to their competition.
“I’ve been really pleased with the way the players came back and the condition they are in,” Longmire told sydneyswans.com.au
“We knew that we have a limited pre-season, which is the shortest pre-season we’ve ever had and obviously getting through to the Grand Final meant added time off for the players, so it was important that they came back in good condition so we can catch up, in a sense, to the other clubs who have been training in that time.
“Our Head Conditioning coach Rob Spurrs has been continually tracking our pre-season program and monitoring it and I don’t think we’re far behind where we’ve been previously and I think when we come to mid to late January we’ll be where we need to be.”
Longmire said the majority of the Swans premiership group returned to the club in great shape, in particular a number of the club’s younger players.
“We’ve been really pleased with how they turned up,” Longmire said.
“We started with our younger group and players like (Lewis) Jetta, (Sam) Reid, Luke Parker, Alex Johnson and Jed Lamb came back in really good shape and fortunately it has continued through with all the players who have come back right through to the older group, who only get two weeks of training before Christmas.”
The coach added that the club’s newest players, in particular the new draftees Dean Towers, Harry Marsh, Tim Membrey and Matt Dick, have also slotted in well into the pre-season program.
“The draftees have been looking really good from since they arrived at the club,” Longmire said.
“The guys from the National Draft turned up and the good thing is that they’ve all been training. Sometimes it’s difficult with the younger players if they turn up to a club and they are recovering from operations or injuries.
“That makes it a little bit harder for them to blend into the group when they have been injured, but we’ve been really fortunate that all of the players we’ve drafted have trained and we’ve been really pleased with the way they’ve gone about it.
“They’ve all shown something a little bit different, and that is why we drafted them.”
The Swans’ pre-Christmas focus has been on endurance, conditioning and skills which will shift to advanced skills and a match focus when the players return in the New Year.
Longmire said all players have received personalised training programs for the upcoming Christmas break in preparation for next year’s pre-season sessions, which will begin on January 7.
“They all have their own individual program. Rob Spurrs sits down with all of them before they go away and maps out their program according to what they have done to this point,” he said.
“Some of the ones who have had big training programs up until now may ease off for a few days over the Christmas period and then get back into it just before we start, whereas there are a few players who will use this period now to catch up and work hard over this next two week block.”
The two week break will be of added use to co-captain Adam Goodes and premiership defender Nick Smith, who have both been limited in their training programs since the off-season.
“They will still be limited until January,” Longmire said about Goodes and Smith.
“Goodsey has only just started running, so he’s been delayed due to his knee injury from the Grand Final so whilst he’s been doing a fair bit of work on the treadmill he’s only just started running outside.
“Nick Smith isn’t quite at the running stage yet, so those blokes will be later starters and they’ll use the next two week block to push their program along.
“They will use this two week break to get up and hopefully be able to push their program a little bit.”