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Longmire to coach Swans until end of 2023

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Longmire’s refusal to commit publicly to the Swans while negotiating a new deal sparked much speculation over his future.

The club, however, has been extremely confident throughout that they would keep their man, though Longmire’s media comments had created an edge to contract talks.

Longmire did not rule out the possibility of a succession plan being formulated but said it was not discussed during negotiations.

This was the fifth time Longmire has had his contract extended – and arguably the most public due to the coaching market.

But both Longmire, the club’s longest-serving coach, and the Swans said the process this time was no different behind closed doors despite North circling.

John Longmire has signed a contract stay as coach of the Swans until the end of 2023.

John Longmire has signed a contract stay as coach of the Swans until the end of 2023.Credit:AAP

“I’m not going to go into other clubs other than to say I would only have left if the club had been keen to take on a new direction,” Longmire said.

The timing of the announcement is consistent with the Swans’ practice of re-contracting Longmire before he entered the final year of his term.

Though the Swans appear destined to miss the finals for the first time since 2009, they have built one of the most exciting young lists in the competition.

This combined with the building of the club’s new headquarters at the Royal Hall of Industries building in Moore Park were key reasons why Longmire, whose children are attending school in Sydney, wanted to stay.

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“I sat down with the club and worked through the detail – what did next year look like? What does beyond that look like? It’s a healthy, normal process to go through,” Longmire said.

“We both come to that conclusion it’s a fantastic opportunity for this football club on and off the field.

“We’ve got a young playing group coming through, a new training ground in my time and a new facility coming on line by the end of next year in the centre of Sydney.”

If Longmire sees out his new term, he will have been a senior coach for 13 seasons, not to mention the nine he served as an assistant prior to succeeding Paul Roos for the 2011 campaign.

The Swans announced in 2009 that Longmire would take over from Roos. Longmire is open minded about a similar arrangement but said no discussions had been held on the issue. Longmire will be 53 at the end of 2023.

“We wouldn’t rule it in or out,” Longmire said.

“You have to be honest with yourself, you talk about all things in regards to the areas I need to improve as coach, what the future looks like.

“For now the most important thing is the next four years, which I’m excited about.”

The likelihood of the Swans parting ways with Longmire was always slim given they did not have a coach in waiting, having let go Stuart Dew to Gold Coast at the end of 2017.

The Swans’ modern day success has been built on stability in key positions. Chief executive Tom Harley took over from Andrew Ireland this year having been earmarked for the role for several years.

Chairman Andrew Pridham had been a long-serving board member when he replaced Richard Colless after his 20-year reign.

“John has been an unbelievable leader of our club for a long time now and we’re just rapt that he’s going to be continuing as senior coach,” Harley said.

“While John’s coaching record speaks for itself, what has been particularly impressive is his ability to evolve the team over the years.

“John has unbelievably strong relationships with our players and I know how much he’s enjoying coaching this current group.

“The future is certainly bright with John locked in, an exciting young playing group and work to soon begin on our new state-of-the-art facility at the Royal Hall of Industries.”

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