THE arguments are loud and compelling for Sydney coach John Longmire to take the leash off his two brightest young stars Isaac Heeney and Callum Mills and, in a perfect world, he probably would.
The problem is the AFL world is far from perfect.
The Swans are 0-2 after Friday night's loss to Adelaide and Mills and Heeney, as they were in last week's defeat at the hands of the Western Bulldogs, were solid without putting a dominant stamp on the contest.
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If Sydney is to rebound from its sluggish start to the year – as they have done before - and be a finals contender, the Academy products must turn that around and be more than just handy contributors.
They have the talent and presence to influence contests where games are won in between the 50m arcs, but at present the Swans' needs mean they've been largely stationed at either end of the ground.
Sydney coach John Longmire's biggest issue with Heeney is he's still one of the side's best targets close to goal, so playing him up the ground takes away that threat and badly needed support for superstar Lance Franklin.
With Franklin working his way back to full fitness, Sam Reid, Will Hayward and Ben Ronke out of form to begin 2019, and Tom Papley playing as a midfielder, Heeney is needed inside 50.
He's also battling an ankle problem, meaning he could be seriously exploited in the midfield.
In the case of Mills, who was widely tipped to make the move from half-back to the midfield this season where his courage under pressure, excellent vision and foot skills could be major weapons for Sydney, he still hasn't been released because of his importance to the team's defence.
With veteran Heath Grundy (back) missing against Adelaide, Mills' ability to play as a tall defender kept him in the back six.
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Zak Jones, Harry Cunningham, Ollie Florent and Ryan Clarke have won their fair share of the footy this season, but they don't have the physical presence around the contest of Heeney, nor the poise and ball use of Mills.
Longmire said after the loss to Adelaide he doesn't wrestle with the decision of where to play his young guns, with their positions on the ground dictated by the state of play at the time.
But you get the feeling if Sydney is to make the eight for a ninth-straight season under Longmire, Heeney and Mills must break free of their respective arcs and inject themselves up the ground and into the 2019 season.