Swans coach unfazed by AFL fixture delay

Sydney were back in group training on Monday with the AFL restart just weeks away.
Sydney were back in group training on Monday with the AFL restart just weeks away.

Sydney coach John Longmire believes the critics should cut the AFL some slack over the delay in releasing fixtures.

Longmire on Monday was finally able to see his players in person after 27 of them returned from different parts of Australia.

The competition is due to resume on June 11 but the AFL has yet to announce any matches for round two.

"You have to give the AFL some slack and anyone that is managing these type of issues," Longmire said.

"Things are changing so quickly and we will work through that, it's not at the front of our minds just right now, we will get our attention into that when we find out.

"Our focus at the moment is just making sure that our players are resilient enough to be able to withstand what's ahead of them.

"I think there will be an understanding and acceptance that you are not going to get them back into full tilt in that amount of time, based upon what we know.

"Our program is all about is trying to make them robust to be able to withstand the challenges of training and the challenges of a game in three weeks.

"You can't teach a lot of game plan stuff or get them much fitter, it's essentially about conditioning them so that they don't get injured or prevent that as much as we can."

One of the Swans who remained in Sydney during the league shutdown was Lance Franklin, who underwent a knee arthroscopy in January.

Longmire hoped the star forward would be ready for round two.

"He's been able to train throughout this whole period and kept himself in pretty good nick, so conditioning-wise he's fine," Longmire said.

"It's just a matter of what the next build-up looks like."

Sydney have started the process of discussing cuts to Longmire's support staff forced by the financial problems due to coronavirus.

"We've got a hard number to get to as far as numbers of people allowed around the playing group and then you've got a financial number to manage, and there's no other reason, so it's a tough period for a lot of people," Longmire said.

Australian Associated Press