Sydney coach John Longmire addresses speculation about a move to North Melbourne. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Sydney coach John Longmire addresses speculation about a move to North Melbourne. Picture: Phil Hillyard

Longmire ignoring North speculation

SYDNEY coach John Longmire has given short shrift to suggestions he could replace Brad Scott at North Melbourne, pointing to a contract that runs until the end of the 2020 season.

Longmire, who played all 200 of his games with the Kangaroos, has been floated as one of the leading contenders to be North's new coach.

The 2012 premiership coach would need to ask for a release from his existing deal to rejoin North once again.

Longmire, speaking at the SCG on Monday, was reluctant to comment about that hypothetical and recent speculation.

The 48-year-old failed to offer any guarantees or declarations but made it clear North are yet to approach him - and that such a scenario isn't on his mind.

"Yeah, I'm contracted. So, I'm contracted," Longmire said.

"I haven't been offered any job.

"I've got a job here at the moment with the Sydney Swans - I'm contracted - so that's what I'm doing.

"There's enough on my plate to be able to get the Swans organised without worrying about any of the outside noise."

North Melbourne is expected to sound out Swans coach John Longmire. Picture: Getty Images
North Melbourne is expected to sound out Swans coach John Longmire. Picture: Getty Images

Longmire has become one of the league's most highly-rated coaches since Paul Roos handed him the reins at Sydney, as part of a succession plan, at the end of 2010.

The Swans have never missed the finals under Longmire, although that remarkable streak is likely to end this year given they sit 15th on the ladder after a 3-7 start.

Sydney chief executive Tom Harley and chairman Andrew Pridham have both publicly backed Longmire as the right man to mentor the club's youngsters during a testing period.

Contract talks between Longmire and the Swans, for a new deal beyond the three-year extension signed in 2016, are expected to heat up soon.

"I'm sure that'll happen at some point, as far as those discussions (are concerned)," Longmire said.

"My focus is Geelong this week … I've got nothing more to add."

Harley, speaking on ABC after Scott's departure from North was confirmed, described Longmire as "a massive part of our future".

"He is so invested in this footy club. We're really fortunate to have a coach like John," Harley said.

"I can't see that happening (Longmire leaving to coach North)."

Dan Menzel is closing in on a Swans debut. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Dan Menzel is closing in on a Swans debut. Picture: Phil Hillyard

Meanwhile, fit-again forward Daniel Menzel is in the mix to make his Sydney debut against former club Geelong on Saturday.

Menzel, who overcame four knee reconstructions in a 73-game career with the Cats, underwent off-season groin surgery.

Longmire is keen to see Menzel, Lance Franklin and Sam Reid in the same forward line for the first time, but is remaining coy as to whether it will happen.

"We've got to be mindful of performance, both in terms of Dan and the team, and also what's going to be best for him for the rest of the year," Longmire said.

"We've got to get that balance right. Has he done enough to come in and play well this week, next week and beyond?

"He had a quiet first half in the NEAFL on the weekend and then his second half was good.

"He's not in the team just yet; we'll have to sit down and have a look ... Geelong are one of the best defensive back six in the competition, so we'll have to get that right."

News Corp Australia


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