PAUL Roos expects protege John Longmire to remain at Sydney, suggesting recent speculation is reflective of the need for a wider pool of coaches and revamped approach to an age-old problem.
North Melbourne, on the hunt for Brad Scott's successor, have reached out to Longmire via the Swans coach's manager Liam Pickering.
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Longmire, who played 200 games for North and recently attended their 1999 premiership reunion, is contracted to coach Sydney in 2020 but could potentially ask for an early release.
Longmire is yet to indicate whether he has any interest in doing that, with the expectation being he will stay put.
Conjecture will continue until Longmire signs a new deal with the Swans, especially given reports the Kangaroos are willing to offer approximately $1.5 million per season.
But Sydney's 2005 premiership coach Roos, who handed the reins over to Longmire after the 2010 season as part of a textbook succession plan, can't see any substance to the speculation.
When clubs look for a coach ... they start at the top of the list and quickly work their way down. John's going to be at the top of everyone's list - Paul Roos
"I don't think it's a story internally at the Sydney Swans," Roos said.
"I don't think it's a story other than the fact that there are very few coaches because of the landscape. It's hard to find where the next coaches are coming from ... plus the risk factor in putting a young coach in.
"I suspect John will stay and it's probably a bit about nothing.
"Maybe it (Pickering's confirmation) inflames the situation a little bit but from what I hear from Sydney, I think they're pretty confident John will stay. Things probably haven't changed too much in reality."
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Roos believed cash wouldn't be the deciding factor for Longmire or any of North's targets.
"I don't think anybody in the AFL has ever really changed clubs for money. Player or coach," he said.
Roos added the Swans wouldn't be surprised or concerned by North's approach.
"It's typically what happens now when clubs look for a coach. They start at the top of the list and quickly work their way down. John's going to be at the top of everyone's list, like Alastair (Clarkson)," Roos said.
"You just have to make the phone call, on the one per cent chance they'll do it.
"My advice would be more, how do we upskill coaches? How do we make sure there's a wide pool of coaches when two or three jobs come up? Otherwise this will just continue to happen."
Roos noted succession plans can work well but are rare because they rely on a coach mapping out their own exit. He argued clubs should become more radical in their approach to coaching structures.
"The days are past of putting in a young coach and thinking things are then going to change," he said.
"The model has to change. The senior coach is just one part of it but not the big picture ... it's 'which group is going to take us to a premiership?'."