Reminiscent of Blondie’s hit, Don’t leave me hanging on the telephone, Longmire has picked up his phone, dialled AFL head quarters, hit the answering machine of Peter Schwab, asking for a please explain, amidst riffs, rhythm, bass and lyrical genius.
When asked about the umpiring in his press conference today, he discussed that the Swans have to be better, but that the players need to know the rules as well.
“Peter Schwab called me on Friday to let me know that the Mills’ one was definitely a free kick, so at this point, Yeah its [sic] what we said on Saturday.
“We’ve clearly got to make sure [sic], we’ve given away the highest number of free kicks in the competition, I think at this point.
We need to make sure that we’re doing either the right thing or wrong thing [sic], or if we’re doing the wrong thing, we need to make sure we’re getting better at it, and Peter’s going to get back to me and give us some ideas, and hopefully feed it back to the players.”
There’s been a lot of discussion in news, blogs and podcasts since the Friday night game, about what really constitutes a free kick, what should be adjudicated rushed, tackling and what not. It’s blatantly obvious that the Bulldogs have discovered the winning secret, just like #freekickhawks did before them. It’s time the Swans learned the same tricks too, join the masterclass, lead by the ducking Eagles and Cats.
So Peter, don’t leave John hanging on the telephone. Here is he, singing with his crew, microphones at the ready.
He might just make a career as a musician after all.
Q: Maybe an update on Kurt Tippett?
JL: Nothing wrong structurally, which is important. There’s ligament damage there. At this stage, he’ll be unlikely to play on Friday. He’s walking around on it OK which is a good sign, but obviously with the turn around, early in the week the call will be that he’ll be unlikely to play Friday.
Q: Was Callum Sinclair the logical replacement, Cameron I guess has missed a couple of weeks.
JL: We’ll sit down and look at that, we have’t made that decision just yet. We’ve got two boys in the reserves that can come in and play that position for us if we need to.
Q: So (Tippett) more [sic] likely to play against West Coast?
JL: Well, we’d think he’d be almost a certainty to play against West Coast at this stage, (but) unlikely [sic] to play this week.
Q: How’s Isaac looking?
JL: He’s looking a lot better. He did some training last week and pulled up really well, and we’ll do some more training this week. He ran really hard last week (and) he’ll [sic] continue the improvements this week. He won’t be playing this week, (but) we [sic] look forward to hopefully getting him back into training with the group at the back of this week.
Q: 0-2 this stage (is) not [sic] the greatest start, but what you saw out of the bulldogs game, you have quite a lot to be enthused about.
JL: Yeah, absolutely. We were really pleased with out younger kids. They lifted and played really well under that real heat of playing against quality opposition, we were real happy about that. We’ve still got some improvement areas, we certainly improved on the week before, and we need to get better again this week.
Q: You never know what to expect from the young guys. Did you get pleasantly surprised from what you saw?
JL: Yeah, we picked them because we thought they could come in and play quite well for us, to the level that they played, they probably exceeded where we thought they would be, and thats a good sign. But we’ve certainly picked them with the confidence that they can play a role for us at senior level, and they certainly showed that, and they didn’t look out of place at all. To have the the three first gamers and Ollie Florent [sic] to play the week before as a second gamer, and all of them did quite well.
Q: You’ve had an 0-2 start to the season John, I know that since 08 [sic], 45 teams have gone 0-2 and ones [sic] played finals; you guys in 14 [sic]. Does that give you solace, or concerns when you hear those types of figures?
JL: We don’t spend any time thinking about it to be honest. We’ve just (got) to play well against Collingwood this week. You know, we looked at what we did well against the bulldogs, what we need to improve on, and we to keep going [sic] in that direction this week.
Q: Have yourself, or anyone from the club, spoke [sic] to the AFL about the umpiring, or will you?
JL: Peter Schwab called me on Friday to let me know that the Mills’ one was definitely a free kick, so at this point, Yeah its [sic] what we said on Saturday.
Q: More broadly, were you happy with the level it was officiated?
JL: We’ve clearly got to make sure [sic], we’ve given away the highest number of free kicks in the competition, I think at this point. We need to make sure that we’re doing either the right thing or wrong thing [sic], or if we’re doing the wrong thing, we need to make sure we’re getting better at it, and Peter’s going to get back to me and give us some ideas, and hopefully feed it back to the players.
Q: The youngsters have been going well so far, but what about some of your leaders? There’s a perception that some of them, like key midfielders, are a little bit down on form than normal.
JL: Yeah, they’re probably compared to the normal standard they’ve set week in week out over the journey. A little below that, but we’re confident that they can bounce back, and they’re quality players, and we’ve got confidence that they can certainly start to play a bit better than what they’ve been playing. Not certainly to the level that we’re used to, but that’s a pretty high level than what they’re normally achieving.
Q: Pretty shortly, Collingwood always give you a tough time, they’re a desperate club at the time as well.
JL: Yeah, we know that, I mean Collingwood, their preseason form was really solid and on the weekend, certainly in the 2nd quarter, they had plenty of shots on goals, and plenty of opportunities, so they’ve got a very good midfield and we expect them to be really fierce here on Friday night.
Q: When you spoke to AFL [sic] John, did you ask for a clarification about the holding the ball rules in general, because I know I’m confused as to what is holding the ball.
JL: Yeah, I just asked as far as the general scramble when a whistle is due to be blown, and when its not and how long it takes to blow the whistle sometimes, and why that’s blown sometimes and sometimes not, and were waiting to hear back from that, and when we hear back from that we’ll address that with our players, because we need to get better at it. Clearly, because we’re on the wrong end of the ledger at the moment, and we need to improve on it.
Q: Are the players confused if you I and a lot of players are [sic]
JL: Well, I hope not. I can only get some advice and pass it on to the players, and that’s what I’m going to try and do over the next couple of days [sic].
Q: Do you feel hamstrung if you complain about the free kicks, you just look like a sore loser, but you’re clearly not maybe [sic] getting the rub of the green.
JL: Well there’s nothing I can do about it, so I can only worry about what I can control, and that’s the team preparation and giving some advice where its appropriate, in regards to some of the things that we may or may not be doing. So that’s the plan for this week and as I said, Peter Schwab said he’d get back to me, and I’ll wait and see what he’s got to say, and hopefully we can get better at it.
Q: Lance Franklin plays game 250 this week, reasonable performance on Friday.
JL: Yeah, look, he probably started a bit slow on Friday, but he came home with a wet sail. To be fair to say [sic], he’s such a massive competition [sic] and really lifted in the big moments, and the first 15-20 minutes of the last quarter he was everywhere. So he’s been a wonderful contributor for us, and he’s been so consistent, worked so hard and such a massive competitor.
Q: You played in probably the greatest era of forwards ever. Lockett, Dunstall, Ablett, yourself, others, and Duck as well. How does Buddy stack up against those players, he’s got his own kind of unique skill set hasn’t he?
JL: Don’t put me in that category, throw Wayne Carey in that [laughter]. He’s quite unique. His athleticism for his size is what makes him a really unique forward, if comparing the eras. He gets up the ground and I guess we’ll need to wait to see what his career pans out like, but to this point, you’d certainly say he’s in that bracket.
Q: You’re in a rare position to judge, having played with Carey and coached Buddy, can you compare the two at all?
JL: I probably haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about it, other than they both have big impacts on the game. They’re different players but they both have significant impacts on the game at the biggest moments, and thats what sets the real champions apart, the ability to be able impact the game on a consistent basis, and then go again when you need to, and both Carey and Franklin were [sic] able to do that.
Q: Are you surprised at just how big of an impact Sam Reid has had, bearing [sic] how long he’s had out?
JL: Its been really pleasing for us. Obviously to miss 12 months of AFL football, and to come back and pick the game up so quickly is a real credit to him. He’s had a good preseason and you can’t underestimate that with any player, particular Sam, having missed so much football. For him to come back and have an impact the way he’s playing, I mean [sic] to kick 6 goals and spend time in the ruck, and it was unfortunate that we obvious lost Kurt, because we would loved to have kept him forward, but he’s marking the ball really cleanly, and kicking the ball so well at the moment.
Q: I presume that ruck is only an emergency situation for him this year, I mean you’ve got the option I guess of playing him down back if you need.
JL: The plan was always to play him key forward, because it allows us much more flexibility with Franklin and those guys around him, and once Kurt went down the first 15 minutes we had to give Naismith a bit of a rest, and had take Sam out of that position, when he was a key forward. But when he was there, he certainly made a real impact and we’re confident that he can do the same again this week.
Q: When you look at Kurts’ replacement Callum and Darcy, do you look more at last week or the whole of the preseason?
JL: It’s a combination of the whole thing [sic], so its not just last weeks game, its a combination of preseason last weeks game [sic], who we’re playing. Obviously Grundys’ a very good ruck man, so we’re aware of that. Those things all come into the mix. It’s good that we’ve got two players there, that we’re comfortable bringing either one of them into the team [sic], so I’m on the record of saying that its very important to have a good quality group of ruck man [sic], and we’re fortunate to have a couple of good ones that can come in for us.