Resurgent Dogs are Swans' sole AFL 'worry'

Callum Godde
Sydney coach John Longmire is unfazed by the disruptions of a unique 2020 AFL season

No contact training and a five-day turnaround is hardly ideal AFL preparation, but Sydney's sole worry remains the resurgent Western Bulldogs.

The Swans' lead-up plans for Thursday night's clash at the SCG were thrown into disarray, with the AFL's new edict limiting contact training to small groups following Essendon's Conor McKenna initially positive COVID-19 test.

But John Longmire is unfazed by the disruption, having prepared his players for the twists and turns of an AFL season unlike any other.

"Traditionally all our preparations are out the window," the Swans coach told reporters on Tuesday.

"But that's the same for all 18 clubs. I guess there's no point worrying about it. All our coaches have been looking at the Doggies. That's what we can do.

"I'll leave the worrying and the change of plans to Charlie Gardiner our footy manager. He can do all the worrying for us."

Fresh off their 11-point victory over North Melbourne on Saturday, the Swans will be backing up off a short turnaround for their third match in 12 days.

It's another challenge Longmire relishes, particularly facing a Bulldogs outfit that rediscovered their mojo with a stirring win over Greater Western Sydney.

"Their competitive spirit last week was sensational," he said.

"They were playing as good a footy as they have for a long time. They got back to some really good form against a quality team in GWS.

"We're fully aware of where our headspace needs to be on Thursday night and that's right in the game, in the contest, because that's where the Doggies will be."

Despite NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian warning constituents not to interact with Melburnians, the Swans have no qualms about going head-to-head with Luke Beveridge's men.

"All we can do is take the advice of health professionals and the AFL," Longmire said.

"We've got very strict protocols and we're abiding by those protocols, as we should.

"And if they change, we change with them."

The Swans will be without another key tall for co-captain Josh Kennedy's 250th AFL game, with Tom McCartin (concussion) joining Lance Franklin (hamstring) and Sam Reid (calf) on the sidelines.

Given his brother and delisted St Kilda No.1 draft pick Paddy's horror concussion history, Longmire admitted the injury was a concern for his parents.

"For the family, it's in the back of their minds," he said.

"I had a chat with him today. He feels pretty good today. So he's in good spirits.

"We'll see how he is for next week, but obviously (with) the five-day turnaround he wasn't going to get up."