Coach wants ‘runway’ for big AFL rule change

Sydney coach John Longmire says the AFL should clarify its plans to alter bidding rules for academy and father-son draft picks “sooner rather than later”.

Longmire joined calls for the stricter rules to be introduced over a transition period but said he expected the AFL to ignore that push and announce immediate changes for this year’s draft.

“We’re aware of those discussions going on, but to be honest we’re in the dark … as far as what the plans are for this year, I don’t think anyone really knows,” the ladder-leading coach said on Monday.

“Hopefully, it happens pretty quickly – I know that there’s a lot of discussions and a lot of work being done in the background, but the season’s getting on and planning for the end of the season is important, so it would be nice to know sooner rather than later.”

coach wants ‘runway’ for big afl rule change

Coach wants ‘runway’ for big AFL rule change

The Swans coach agreed that changes brought in this season could throw out clubs’ medium-term list management plans, as picks in this year’s draft were able to be traded during the last off-season.

He said the AFL had already shown it was prepared to quickly spring rule changes on clubs with the abrupt update of the holding-the-ball interpretation last month.

“It would be (announced years in advance) in an ideal world, but I think the AFL has already said, ‘bad luck, at some point it’s coming in’, and you’ve got to get over that,” Longmire said.

“Ideally, we’d like to be able to have a runway into any changes, a bit like the change in the interpretation of the holding the ball (rule).

“You’d like a bit of a runway into it rather than just nice and quick.”

Longmire said the Swans had clear areas to work on after another slow start against Adelaide on Saturday night, but it was “in some ways comforting” to know they could produce the third-quarter blitz that helped them to victory in South Australia.

coach wants ‘runway’ for big afl rule change

He said Callum Mills would not return for Saturday’s derby against GWS despite training strongly over the last fortnight and did not rule out a comeback via the VFL for the Swans captain.

“He’s in team training, so we need a block of training for him. How long that goes for depends on how that goes in the block of training,” Longmire said.

“He’ll need another couple of weeks of solid training and see how he goes. He’s been pulling up really well … but we need to give him a good block of training.

“Maybe (he will play in the VFL first), we don’t know yet. That’s not at the forefront of our minds just yet.”

Longmire was coy on who tagger James Jordon would be sent to after he contained Lachie Whitfield in the Swans’ 29-point round 8 win over the Giants.

“I don’t know yet. They’ve got lots of damaging players, it will be interesting whether (Lachie) Ash comes back in,” he said.

“They’ve got good players everywhere, so you can make a case for a number of players.

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