The Sydney Swans are preparing to face West Coast at Gather Round this weekend.

Ahead of the Round 4 match senior coach John Longmire appeared in a weekly press conference and answered questions on James Rowbottom, replacing Dane Rampe and the club's upcoming opponent. 

On James Rowbottom’s re-signing

“He knows what his game is about and he plays to that almost every week. He's very consistent in what he knows are his strengths. One of his strengths aligns with one of our values which is his pressure and he puts enormous pressure on the ball. His ability to be able to go from contest to contest has been fantastic.

“He's been a great addition to our footy club from the moment he walked in the door. He's really popular and he plays consistent footy as is his results in the club champion over the last couple of years.”

On future signings

“We're confident we'll keep all the players that we need to keep... We feel like the players know that they've got a group around them that's important to be able to play some good footy together. They've played a fair bit of footy together already, our younger group, and we're really confident in that group to be able to take the next step for this footy club.”

On Sam Wicks

“He'll be available for selection. We're working through that at the moment. He's been at training this week.”

On Taylor Adams

“Taylor Adams, if he gets through training today, will play. That'll be exciting for Taylor as well. We looked at the team last week and we had seven midfielders that were 23 and under last week. We've got a really young midfield group and then there's Isaac. We feel like that group's been terrific.

“One of the reasons that we wanted some more experience last year with Taylor was to be able to help that young midfield group out. If he trains today, he'll play his first game for us. We're really looking forward to that.”

On replacing Dane Rampe

“Harry has to go through the [concussion] protocols. He's been terrific. He's felt really good. He's got to go through the steps again today and tomorrow and make sure he feels good. We'll see how that progresses. He's been doing all that's required up to this point.

“We'll look at the West Coast team and work out what we need as far as coming in. Obviously, Dane going out for a few weeks is disappointing, but if Harry comes in, that'll be a plus. We'll look at the tall mix that West Coast have got as well.”

On Joel Hamling

“We had a few that were a bit crook last week. He missed the game. He had a touch of pneumonia last week, so he was a bit sick. He was actually okay yesterday, so we got on top of it nice and early. Hopefully, he's starting to feel a bit better. I'm not sure he'll be just ready for senior footy this week.”

On the West Coast Eagles

“For those that have known me over a long time, we put the foot down for every game because you have to. It's just such a tough, close competition. Our challenge is to make sure we come with enormous pressure this week, get enormous pressure around the ball, put enormous pressure on West Coast, and go as hard as we can.”


On Gather Round

“I think it's been a great concept. Being up here, you see what the NRL were able to do. They've got some great ideas and what they were able to do in Brisbane has been really good.

“We've seen everyone embrace it across the whole industry over in Adelaide. It stands out that it's been really embraced across the industry. It's terrific that it's in South Australia for a couple of years and then hopefully goes to tender. We get a few more footy grounds in New South Wales built between now and then. It'd be a wonderful opportunity to bring it to New South Wales and showcase all the teams up here.

“I think we've seen the benefit of it in Adelaide for the city, for the state. Tourism, the attention of everything turns to that. It'd be great if it happened up here.”

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