Operation stop Judd the Swans’ priority

Sydney coach John Longmire has two things at the front of his mind as the Swans prepare to take on Carlton on Saturday – the fitness of Adam Goodes and how to stop Chris Judd.

”He was sensational [against Richmond], his third quarter in particular,” Longmire said of Judd on Monday. ”It’s the way he’s able to lift a team. He stood out at the centre bounce clearances in particular. He’s got a history of doing it in big games and that’s why he’s a superstar.”

Longmire says he has several candidates who could play on the dual Brownlow medallist.

”They are the hardest ones to try and nullify, the players who go at the ball like that and are so good at the 50-50 moments,” he said.

”But we think we’ve got a few blokes that are pretty good in that area as well, whether it’s Josh Kennedy, Ryan O’Keefe or Luke Parker. I’m sure that group, maybe a couple of others, they’ll all get a go at him at different times. But it’s about us getting our hands on it. That’s the best way to stop him.”

For the Swans, Jarrad McVeigh, Dan Hannebery and Goodes have knee injuries that are in various states of disrepair. Longmire said McVeigh would almost certainly be fine to play.

Hannebery, too, is on track, after a somewhat subdued return against Hawthorn after he had suffered bruising the previous week.

Goodes hasn’t played since a mid-season ligament tear but is putting pressure on the selection committee after training well on Sunday.

”He’s always confident in his ability to play, whether it’s with one knee or an arm tied behind his back,” Longmire said. ”He always wants to get out there and have a go. That’s what you admire about him.

”We’ll sit down after he’s trained this week both times and have a

mature discussion about it and work out what we do with him. He knows that his preparation hasn’t been ideal. He hasn’t played for a long time. We also know he’s a pretty special player and a mentally tough player and person.”

Picking Goodes might come down to the fitness of some of the players around him, Longmire said.

”We’re mindful that we’ve got Lewis Jetta and Gary Rohan coming back as well. It all goes into the decision-making process. Getting that balance right is our challenge. All three are no doubt in our best team when they’re all fully fit and firing. But that’s not the case.”

Longmire said a potential big advantage for the Swans was the eight-day gap between games at this stage of the season.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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