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Horse dismisses North coaching ‘noise’

May 27, 2019 3:10 pm in by

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 AFL 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.

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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.

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

Longmire has become one of the league’s most highly-rated coaches since Paul Roos handed him the reins at Sydney, as per a textbook 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.

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“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).”

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© AAP 2019

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