Isaac Heeney was terrific in a midfield role. Picture: Joshua Davis/The Inner Sanctum

Isaac Heeney was terrific in a midfield role. Picture: Joshua Davis/The Inner Sanctum

As Sydney celebrated their 150th year anniversary in style with a win against Melbourne, senior coach John Longmire spoke about the importance of an imposing performance in the second half. 

The first half saw both sides commit frustrating skill errors, and it was Longmire’s Swans who were much more composed under pressure as the game went on. 

When asked about the impressive performances of midfielders Errol Gulden and Chad Warner, Longmire was effusive in his praise. 

‘’They’re a couple of 21-22 year olds, so it’s a big ask against that experienced midfield group who continually perform they way they do (Melbourne),’’ he said. 

‘’There were times when opposition mids got the better of us in probably that first half but I thought the longer the game went our boys came into it.’’

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Longmire praised dynamic mid/forward Isaac Heeney, who excelled against the Dees in his new role as an inside midfielder with 26 possessions, 13 clearances, and one goal. 

‘’He’s had a wonderful summer and his feel for the game has been excellent.

‘’He’s one of the hardest trainers I’ve seen. He’s just fanatical in his preparation. The only thing that ever stops him is an injury.’’

It was an eventful day for new recruit Brodie Grundy, who was stung by a jellyfish in the morning before Thursday night’s season opener. 

Grundy played through the pain and acquitted himself well, much to the delight of his coach Longmire. 

‘’His second half was huge. He just kept going, kept ploughing through. His second and third efforts, his work around the footy was enormous and I just feel really pleased for him,’’ he said. 

‘’He’s got that one out of the way and now he can get settled into his season, and we’ve got another big one next week against the Pies.’’

Longmire also reflected on the clubs 150th year celebrations, with many influential former Sydney and South Melbourne players and administrators in attendance at the SCG. 

‘’The scenes out the front (pre-game) were huge”, he said. 

‘’It was something different. Hopefully our supporters really enjoyed it. Hopefully the people at home enjoyed it.

‘’Our players enjoyed it, the interaction with the fans was wonderful. 

‘’To be able to get up close with our fans like that was awesome, they give you great energy.‘’

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