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"It's never out of the question"

Luke McManus  January 19, 2016 11:49 AM

SwansTV - John Longmire isn't ruling out the potential for a first-year player to debut in Round 1 of the regular season.
First-year recruit Jordan Dawson during training.

First-year recruit Jordan Dawson during training.

It’s never out of the question, for any player on the list, to get a game early.

Senior coach John Longmire is undaunted by the prospect of blooding a new recruit in the opening round of season 2016.

A first-year draftee could follow in the footsteps of Isaac Heeney and be rewarded an immediate senior debut when the Swans clash with Collingwood at ANZ Stadium on March 26.

Callum Mills, a product of the QBE Sydney Swans Academy, has been considered by many as a strong chance to play while Longmire has refused to rule out anyone else earning a spot.

“It’s never out of the question, for any player on the list, to get a game early,” he said.

“We’ve seen over the journey, we don’t discriminate as far as age is concerned. We don’t look at their birth certificate when picking the team.

“When you’re good enough, you’re good enough.”

The Swans have debuted seven players over the past two seasons, four of which came last year including two first-year recruits.

Having had a settled line up over a long period of time, the Swans face a period of transition this season in the wake of an exodus of experienced players.

The departure of Adam Goodes, Rhyce Shaw, Mike Pyke and Lewis Jetta means there are four spots from last year’s semi-final alone are there for the taking.

Longmire says opportunities will be given to players who give themselves the best possible chance, not only in the lead up to Round 1 but throughout the season.

"Everyone puts a big emphasis on Round 1. It's not just about Round 1, it's about playing senior football at some stage during the course of the year," he added.

“The players that prepare themselves well and train with a level of intensity that stands the test of time as far as playing senior football, will get a game."

Competition to fill the void is set to heat up with less than a month before the Swans face Port Adelaide in Blacktown on February 20 for the opening round of the NAB Challenge.