‘We’re here for him’: Longmire rallies behind Buddy as two more talls sidelined

Save articles for later

Add articles to your saved list and come back to them any time.

Sydney coach John Longmire says he has been heartened by the AFL community’s response to the booing of Lance Franklin as the club’s key position injury toll claimed two more victims.

Ruckman Peter Ladhams and defender Tom McCartin have been ruled out of Saturday’s clash with Fremantle, although the long-awaited return of Tom Hickey will help ease the pain against one of the AFL’s premier ruck combinations.

Lance Franklin was targeted with boos at the MCG last weekend.Credit: Getty

Ladhams is out with an arm injury while McCartin has once again succumbed to concussion, reporting symptoms during their 29-point defeat but without, to Longmire’s knowledge, taking a hit to the head.

“We’re going to be very conservative with him,” Longmire said.

McCartin’s older brother Paddy is already out indefinitely with concussion amid uncertainty over his AFL future, while co-captain Dane Rampe is sidelined with a neck injury which, in a small mercy for the Swans after consultation with a specialist, is unlikely to require surgery.

Tall forward Joel Amartey is also expected to miss the next five to seven weeks with a hamstring strain.

“Over the last two years, we’ve had, I think, the best or second-best injury record, and we’ve been able to have everyone available. When you’ve got a young team coming through it’s been structured, we’ve been really, really sound,” Longmire said.

“This year, it’s been since January. It’s been a real challenge, particularly for our key position and talls. Sometimes you go through those patches.”

Hickey has not played since last year’s AFL grand final after suffering a debilitating calf injury during the pre-season, but has been passed fit at a perfect time for the Swans as they prepare to face Fremantle duo Sean Darcy and Luke Jackson.

Former rugby union prospect Lachlan McAndrew was considered for selection and has made marked progress since joining Sydney’s list as a rookie in mid-2021, but Hickey’s return saves the Swans from needing to rush him into the senior level.

Meanwhile, Longmire welcomed the reaction from Collingwood, the AFL and others in response to the section of Pies fans who targeted Franklin with boos at the MCG last weekend. Both clubs and the AFL have released strong statements discouraging such behaviour.

He expressed hope, but not confidence, that supporters would react accordingly, noting that the parallels with the Adam Goodes saga would have crossed a few people’s minds over the past week.

“[Franklin is] fine, I think that’s important to note. He’s just getting into his footy,” Longmire said.

“The football community in general has learned a lot over the years. [The response] is just sensible and reacting with care, which is all genuine, which has been much appreciated.

“I can’t say what we’re going to see from the fans’ point of view. I’m on the record as saying I’m not a big fan of the booing, full stop. We’ll wait and see. All we can go in is that hopefully the community keeps learning and growing. I’m confident that it has.

“Everyone’s growing and learning about what’s happening in the past. What happened with Adam was clearly a terrible, tough time for him and a lot of people around him. But Lance is good, he’s fine. He’s looking forward to this week.”

Asked if he thought the SCG crowd would show Franklin a bit of extra love on Saturday, Longmire said: “I hope so. We’re here for him.”

Most Viewed in Sport

From our partners

Source: Read Full Article