Luke Parker during Sydney's training session at the SCG on May 21, 2024. Picture: Phil Hillyard

SYDNEY coach John Longmire says there was no malice or frustration in Luke Parker's hit in the VFL that will lead to a lengthy suspension for the three-time club champion.

Parker spent a fourth straight week in the VFL on Friday night at the same time the red-hot Swans won a sixth straight AFL game to maintain their six-point break at the top of the ladder.

As they were blitzing Carlton at the SCG, Parker delivered a late bump on Frankston Dolphin Josh Smith that left him with significant facial fractures and a concussion.

The 31-year-old will face the VFL Tribunal on Tuesday night and is facing a suspension of at least four weeks for the incident was graded as careless conduct, severe impact and high contact.

Longmire is not buying into the sentiment that Parker's act was one of frustration at being left out of the AFL team.

"I think that's a pretty long bow to draw," Longmire said.


"If you look at it really closely, he went to block a player and shepherd a player that was coming through and got it wrong.

"It's a tough period for Luke, we'll have to wait and see what that means (at the Tribunal).

"Clearly he wants to play senior football and will be disappointed if he gets suspended tonight for a period of time.

"If you look at it, he went to block and he actually wasn't moving, he was stationary at the point of contact. He didn't go high, unfortunately it didn't work out the way that he intended it to do.

Luke Parker during Sydney's training session at the SCG on May 21, 2024. Picture: Phil Hillyard

"He's not a player with any malice in him at all. He plays hard, tough football. He went to block a player, it didn't work out well. He actually hit the back of his (Parker's) head and damage was done to the back of his head.

"We really feel for Josh and the Frankston players because it really impacted them as well, which (Parker) feels badly about."

Parker will have to wait until round 15 or 16 at the earliest to play his first AFL game of the season, while Tom McCartin will spend another game on the sidelines due to a concussion suffered in round eight.

John Longmire and Tom McCartin during Sydney's training session at the SCG on May 21, 2024. Picture: Phil Hillyard

The full back, who missed nine games last year with concussion symptoms, was hit high by the Giants' Callum Brown in the derby win over GWS and will miss a third straight game against the Western Bulldogs.

"I think the Thursday night counts against him a little bit. If it was a weekend game, he might have been a better chance. He trained today he got through fine," Longmire said.

"The doctors obviously have taken a conservative approach to it. He's been pulling up well, he's been running and training but as far as the competitive training to go to the next step, he probably hasn't done enough of it at this point."

"He's feeling fine he should be right for after the bye."

The Swans' outstanding form and solid display by Aaron Francis at full back affords them the chance to not feel pressured into rushing McCartin back.


Youngster Matt Roberts is likely to return this week after being rested against Carlton and if so, will take the place of Robbie Fox, who is set to miss two to three weeks with an injured AC joint.

Longmire was full of praise for midfielder Chad Warner, who kicked three goals and had 14 score involvements in his 28 disposals on Friday night, saying the West Australian's ability and willingness to take the game on was a key reason the club drafted him back in 2019.

"He's always had it, his ability to go from inside to outside in a very short amount of time and that's been a credit to him. He changes the way we play and that's been important," Longmire said.

"From the moment we drafted him he was one who could go from stop to top pace in a short amount of time. We saw early that he could do that, and you don't want to discourage that. The more he does it, the more confident he’s becoming."

John Longmire and Chad Warner during Sydney's training session at the SCG on May 21, 2024. Picture: Phil Hillyard

The likes of Warner and Isaac Heeney have been standouts in a dominant midfield group so far this year, but Longmire wasn't buying into suggestions its the best group of midfielders he's coached in his time at the club.

"People properly forget over the years there's been some reasonable midfield groups with guys like Adam Goodes, Ryan O'Keefe, Kieren Jack, Josh Kennedy.

"Brodie (Grundy has) been very important for us he adds another dimension to our team. He gets after it at ground level like another big, bodied midfielder.

"This is a different midfield, there's no doubt about that. The good thing about the evolution of the team over the last couple of years is we’ve started to rely more on our young group coming through. They've shouldered a fair bit of the load in the midfield.

"We come up against the Dogs this week who have an All-Australian ruckman (Tim English) and players like Bontempelli, Treloar, Richards who has been doing really well. It'll be a big test this week against an in-form Bulldogs midfield."