McCarthy funeral may assist Magpies

Sportal September 20, 2012, 3:34 pm
Scott Pendlebury

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Sydney coach John Longmire has warned his side to brace for a more ferocious Collingwood outfit galvanised by attending the funeral of former player John McCarthy on Thursday.

While the Swans have had a relatively smooth preparation for Friday night's preliminary final at ANZ Stadium, it's been a very emotional build-up for the Magpies, still coming to terms with the death of their former player.

The Swans boss knows how much a personal tragedy can bring a team and club closer together, with Sydney going through their own difficult circumstances last season, with the death of co-captain Jarrad McVeigh's young daughter Luella.

That weekend Sydney went away and beat Geelong, the only loss the Cats have had on their home turf in close to three seasons.

"What I know is football clubs are fantastic things to be a part of when you're going through a grieving process," Longmire told reporters on Thursday.

"We were unfortunate enough to experience something last year that was a really tough period and football clubs are a good spot to be around.

"They really offer a lot of support and no doubt that's what is happening down at Collingwood this week.

"We respect the fact that the McCarthy family have a difficult challenge and the Collingwood Football Club have got a difficult challenge to face today.

"We expect a fierce battle tomorrow night and that's what we're focusing on."

While the Magpies are without skipper Nick Maxwell through suspension and have injury concerns over Chris Dawes (knee) and Alan Didak (calf), the Swans line-up is much more settled.

Midfielder Ben McGlynn will miss the match with a hamstring strain, with defender Heath Grundy the likely replacement as he returns from a one-game ban that saw him miss the qualifying win over Adelaide.

"He was disappointed missing the first final. There's nothing worse than missing a game through suspension at this time of the year," Longmire said of Grundy.

"He's really keen to get out there and looking forward to playing.

"He'll have a big role tomorrow and that's the challenge ahead of him.

"We know he's a good player for us and has been for a long time but he needs to show that tomorrow."

Another key player for the Swans will be livewire Lewis Jetta.

After starring in the early months of the season, the speedster went off the boil in the run-in to the finals but showed signs he was back to his best against the Crows.

"He gave us some real bite around the ground and was back at his running best," Longmire said.

"I enjoyed the tackle when he chased down Patty Dangerfield, I thought that was outstanding, there's not too many blokes who can do that.

"That was a good sign and I think he's back to his real lively best.

"It's great to have a young kid like that who's in the team who understands footy really well and he's enjoying his football."

Longmire said the players were excited about playing in front of a huge crowd at ANZ Stadium and hoped Swans fans turn out in big numbers to help end their 11-game losing streak against Collingwood.

Get out your red and white and get behind the Sydney Swans this Friday night at ANZ Stadium. Click here to buy your tickets


And don't forget to join FANGO for the Brownlow Medal on Monday, September 24 from 7.30pm. Polls, trivia and chat about all things footy, fashion and the count.

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15 Comments

  1. underarm_bowler07:18pm Thursday 20th September 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    why you guys worried about steven. he cuts and pastes. just another smelly pom that got an aussie visa knock back

    Reply
  2. TJ05:49pm Thursday 20th September 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Steven was there a point you are making or just the constant babble of yet another pommy. This article is about the passing of a footballer who was very popular and your comments are insensitive and irrelevant so perhaps you would like to go back to your wonderful England and try to put your point across to someone who actually cares about it. Perhaps also you might like to look up how England got its name as it might give you something to actually think about. Most of you dont actually know.

    Reply
  3. Dieter05:45pm Thursday 20th September 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    What

    Reply
  4. JESUS is GOD04:41pm Thursday 20th September 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Repent and believe

    Reply
  5. Pippa Middleton04:16pm Thursday 20th September 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I think steven is actually talking about himself when he says "WANKER"

    1 Reply
  6. Adam04:07pm Thursday 20th September 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Steve "whatever" your trying to achieve my advice is get therapy and fast!

    Reply
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