Swans AFL coach keeps finals coming

Sep 14, 2017 - 8:28 AM Sydney AFL coach John Longmire has already eclipsed many of the competition's all-time great mentors when it comes to notching multiple finals matches over several successive seasons.

When Sydney face Geelong in a semi-final at the MCG on Friday, it means they will have played at least two finals in each of Longmire's first seven years at the helm.

No other individual starting a head coaching career in the AFL has managed that.

There's no definitive evidence to suggest anyone achieved it in the VFL era either.

North Melbourne's Denis Pagan took the Kangaroos to the finals in each of his first eight seasons, though they played just one match in his maiden September campaign in 1993.

Longmire's home and away winning percentage of 70.13 is more impressive than his finals mark of 55.56, and three grand final appearances have gleaned just the one flag.

But Sydney's consistency under Longmire is testimony to his unwavering faith in the brand of footy he has utilised throughout his tenure.

When the Swans started this season 0-6, some pundits questioned whether Sydney's style had been found out and opined they needed to look at making changes.

Longmire steadfastly refused to tinker with a successful formula, arguing that if his players upped their intensity at the contests, Sydney would be fine.

A record of 15 wins from their last 17 games proved him right.

The only team to beat them over that period was Hawthorn, who shaded them twice in close games.

The Hawks looked as if they might have found the template to beat the Swans by kicking away from contests.

But no other side has been able to match Hawthorn's level of success against Longmire's dogged troops.

Source: AAP

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