SYDNEY will attempt an AFL-first in having three assistant coaches work remotely during the Swans’ crunch clash with ladder-leaders Melbourne.
Coach John Longmire’s right-hand men Don Pyke, Jarrad McVeigh and Dean Cox did not travel with the Swans for Saturday night’s match due to new COVID-19 cases in the NSW capital.
The trio on Monday visited a popular cafe near the Swans’ headquarters which has been declared a hotspot location.
Despite all three men testing negative for coronavirus they have remained in Sydney.
The Swans hastily arrived in Melbourne on Thursday night, earlier than scheduled, to prepare for the game against the Demons at the MCG and avoid any worsening health situation in NSW on Friday.
Sydney chief executive Tom Harley said the club was planning to have Pyke, McVeigh and Cox link up with Longmire via video link on Saturday night.
“We just need to make sure the involvement the remote coaches have, their interaction with the coaches at the MCG works – and be pretty clear early days if it doesn’t then move to another solution,” Harley said.
“There’s no playbook for this.
“There’s a fair bit to work through; this is as far as I know hasn’t been attempted before.”
Harley admitted the situation put the Swans at a significant disadvantage as they attempt to knock off unbeaten Melbourne.
“There’s a tipping point, there’s no doubt about that, and I had the conversation with (AFL chief executive) Gillon (McLachlan).
“Probably until late last night we weren’t sure what was going to happen in regards who could travel.
“It is a significant disruption to the program and I don’t think anyone would think any less of us for putting it on the table.
“The repertoire the players have with assistants, in a lot of cases, is the most connected relationship.”
(C) AAP 2021