John Longmire ahead of Sydney's game against Collingwood in R1, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

SYDNEY coach John Longmire expects the AFL to reassess how byes are scheduled during the season, but has backed his club's chairman in dismissing suggestions the Swans have gained an unfair advantage this season.

The Swans' fixture for 2024 included byes in rounds five and 12 as a result of their inaugural Opening Round match.

Having defeated Geelong in their first game after the second of those byes, they sit at the top of the ladder, two wins clear of the pack (with a game in hand) and boasting the highest percentage.

Meanwhile, some clubs have yet to have a bye, with Hawthorn and the Western Bulldogs among the teams that will have to wait until next round for their first week off.

Sydney chairman Andrew Pridham has been vocal in denying there is any correlation between the Swans' strong form and their fixturing, pointing to the 13th-placed Brisbane, who have also had two byes.

Carlton, Gold Coast, Greater Western Sydney, Collingwood, Richmond and Melbourne are the other clubs to have been handed two byes this season.

But well aware of the current inequalities across the competition, Longmire is open to adjusting the current fixturing of byes.


"Andrew was just pointing out that it doesn't necessarily mean that's the only reason we've had a good year to date," Longmire said on Wednesday, raising additional examples of home-ground advantage and extra travel to show the unevenness of the competition.

"Everyone forgets that we went from two or three practice games straight into the season.

"We had a nine-week block there that was pretty solid. We didn't have that bye at the start of the season that other teams had.

"But I still think that next year, it wouldn't be ideal if some teams had two byes and others had had none again.

"It's not an even competition. Anyone that says it is isn't talking sense.

"(Bye fixturing) could be one thing that maybe we can control as a competition. That might be worth thinking about for next year."

Sydney travel to Adelaide to take on the Crows on Saturday night, with utility Robbie Fox a test to play following a shoulder injury.

Callum Mills in action at Sydney training on May 30, 2024. Picture: Phil Hillyard

Club captain Callum Mills remains on the sidelines as he battles back after shoulder and calf injuries, with his return date still up in the air.

"It's hard to say at the moment (how long Mills will be out). He just needs a good training block," Longmire said.

"He's been pulling up well from the training he's done at the moment. The next couple of weeks he will really ramp that up and we'll see how he goes."