Grundy case no distraction for Swans

Sportal September 4, 2012, 3:16 pm
John Longmire

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Sydney coach John Longmire has played down the disruption caused by Heath Grundy's trip to the AFL Tribunal, with the Swans defender travelling to Melbourne in a desperate bid to clear his name on Tuesday night.

Grundy is facing a one-match ban for striking Geelong's James Podsiadly off the ball in Saturday's 34-point loss to the Cats.

The 26-year-old is not risking any further suspension by fighting the charge, but will miss Saturday's qualifying final at AAMI Stadium if found guilty.

"You'd rather not be going to a tribunal obviously, but that's what happens," Longmire said when asked if Grundy's level three striking charge is an unwanted distraction on Tuesday.

"Things happen on a football ground and when they do happen we need to deal with them and address what's before us, and that's what we're doing tonight ... giving Heath the best possible chance by flying to Melbourne and fronting the tribunal in person.

"It's just something you deal with, it's a reality of playing football is that these things happen and you've got to be a resilient group and be able to adjust whether things go our way this evening or not.

"We've had players fly down grand-final week Hally (Barry Hall) went down on a private jet, I'm pretty sure Heath Grundy's not going on a private jet today but these things happen and you've just got to make sure you deal with them professionally."

Pressed on whether he's disappointed with Grundy's lack of discipline, Longmire refused to criticise his player and says the club is confident of clearing the defender's name at the tribunal.

"I think what happens in the course of the game, there's always a few push and shoves and that's just part of footy, but I think that'll come out a little bit tonight in the tribunal," he said.

"It's a bit difficult to comment before the case this evening but we think we've got a case and it will pan out this evening.

"We're pretty keen for Heath to play this week obviously, we think he's got a case, that's why we're taking it down to Melbourne and what happens after that we'll obviously make the necessary decisions tomorrow."

Meanwhile, injured duo Sam Reid and Nick Smith both trained with the squad on Tuesday and will play against the Crows provided they get through Thursday's session unscathed.

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