IF YOU were to be named Coach of the Year today, John Longmire has a very strong argument after leading Sydney 6-0 to the final. FINALS FORMGUIDE
IF they are awarding Coach of the Year today, John Longmire has a very strong argument.
Never in the more than hundred-year history of the game has a team started 6-0 and played the final. No team made it from 0: 5.
North Melbourne in 1975 were the last team to go 4-0 and they subsequently won the Premier League.
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It could be a good omen for Longmire’s team, which will now have to follow the lead of the Western Bulldogs from last year and win four straight wins to take the flag.
There is no doubt that they believe they can do it.
They are the form team of the competition and have won 14 of their last 16 games including victories over each of the top four Adelaide, Geelong, Richmond and GWS teams on their home decks.
How did you accomplish this remarkable feat of returning from oblivion at 0-6?
Well worth looking back at the coach’s news when they were beaten by Carlton on round 6 at the MCG.
“It takes a lot of time to build a brand and a reputation as a team and it doesn’t take long to lose,” said Longmire after the game.
He was right, the loss to the Blues made the Swans the first team to play in a grand final and lose the next six games the following season.
But the messages to the players and the public were clear, the game plan is the right one, but the team just didn’t carry it out.
“It’s unacceptable,” said Longmire.
“It’s not nearly the brand we’d like to play. There is a general competitive spirit for competition, with and without a ball.
“In the three phases of the game we are not playing anywhere near the standard that is required to compete regularly at the AFL level. It just doesn’t happen. It’s not something where we can go into our reserves and snap five or six players. There’s no easy way out, you just have to go a little harder. “
Sydney’s game plan contains few secrets. He is powered by an 18 man defense and relentless pressure. With Josh Kennedy, Luke Parker and Dan Hannebery at the helm, they can win the ball on the interruptions and have now added the speed of Zak Jones and Isaac Heeney to their mix.
They score highly with sales that are caused by half pushing forward, and their backline gives the fewest points in the AFL.
Throw the most talented striker of a generation into Lance Franklin and it’s a formula for success.
Since Round 6 they have averaged 101.4 points per game and conceded only 66 goals per game.
Hannebery believes that when they started the season 6-0, they lived on the sidelines for most of the season and sharpened their determination.
“We weren’t locked up until we beat Adelaide in Adelaide,” said Hannebery.
“In a way, that helped us and kept our focus tight. For us as a week-to-week prospect, we couldn’t be too far ahead of ourselves because of the situation we were in. “
Hannebery and Tom Papley will both enjoy the break that leads to the finals as they shrug off hip and knee injuries.
“With this week it will help us,” said Hannebery.
“It’s a rare luxury and makes it pretty even, and you can challenge eight from anywhere. High intensity and high pressure work for each other in every game. That’s the blueprint, everyone knows. It’s all about executing during the day. “
HISTORY OF THE BAND
Disposal difference: -2.3 (11.)
Difference in pedaling efficiency: -0.5% (12.)
Difference in disposal efficiency: -0.3% (8.)
Controversial ownership differential: +3.1 (7th)
Undisputed ownership differential: -6.5 (11.)
Tackle differential: -2.4 (14.)
Within 50 differential: +2.6 (8th)
Points for: 95.1 (5.)
Points against: 75.0 (1st)
Game difference: +0.3 (8.)
Score from the difference between the distances: +9.4 (2nd)
Disposal difference: +24.2 (2.)
Difference in pedaling efficiency: -0.2% (10.)
Disposal efficiency difference: -0.1% (7.)
Controversial ownership differential: +1.0 (10.)
Undisputed ownership differential: +22.9 (2nd)
Tackle differential: +4.1 (3rd)
Within 50 differential: -1.8 (11.)
Points for: 97.0 (3rd)
Points against: 91.1 (12.)
Game difference: -1.9 (14th)
Score from the difference in the distances: +0.5 (9th)
Swans, who scored 34 percent accuracy against Essendon in Round 14, were the second worst of the year. Lance Franklin kicked 0.6.
Lance Franklin has scored an average of 4.6 goals against Essendon over the course of his career. Mostly against each side.
Since round 7, the swans have been number 1 for points for (102) and points against (66).