AFL grand final 2016: Time running out for Aliir Aliir to prove fitness for Sydney Swans

Wednesday is shaping as D-day for Sydney defender Aliir Aliir but even if the youngster misses out on the grand final it may not be enough to give veteran Ted Richards a fairytale finish to his career.
Nanjing Night Net

The Swans’ injured trio of Aliir, Jarrad McVeigh and Callum Mills did not join the main group at training on Monday as planned, which means they have only the club’s main session on Wednesday to prove their fitness.

McVeigh and Mills did what was asked of them on Sunday and took part in handball drills on Monday, as did Aliir, though he did not break into a trot with his knee injury. McVeigh, with 286 games under his belt, is likely to have the most say on his fate but Mills and Aliir will need favourable medical assessments to play.

“He’s [McVeigh] an experienced player, when you’re talking about the younger players compared to the experienced players, the experienced players have got a bit more to draw upon as far as experiences in the bank as to what they can play with and what they can’t,” coach John Longmire said.

“But you know once the ball bounces the adrenaline takes over and you get through. It’s one of those things you need to be able to assess and work out yourself with the help and guidance of coaches who have had experience in it and your medical staff.”

Aliir’s knee injury will affect his ability to change direction and evade tacklers, which has been a feature in the young backman’s game.

“It’s not as bad as it could have been, after the game we were a bit concerned,” Longmire said. “From that perspective it’s good but he’s got a bit to do this week. We’ll see how the week pans out.”

Richards lost his place in the team to Aliir but he will not have drawn much comfort from Longmire’s response when asked if he was a genuine chance for a recall.

“He’s been training, he’s fit, it just depends on what we need,” Longmire said.

Richards was later carried off the track by reserves pair Callum Sinclair and Toby Nankervis, to the cheers of the hundreds of Swans fans at training, but later warned against reading too much into the gesture.

“A few guys going for the record for most chairing someone off. Got chaired off after yoga yesterday,” Richards wrote on Twitter.

Of the fit Swans, Harry Marsh has the most reason to be nervous if McVeigh and Mills get over the line.   This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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