SYDNEY coach John Longmire had no hesitation accepting the AFL's offer to take charge of the All Stars side in next month's bushfire relief match at Marvel Stadium.
Longmire, born and bred in country New South Wales, said the Swans had already begun discussions about how the club could help out those affected around Australia over the past few months, when he received a call from the League's general manager of footy operations Steve Hocking.
The 2012 premiership coach will guide the All Stars in a clash against Victoria on February 28, with the competition's biggest names pledging their support to the concept.
Longmire said on Friday that he's hopeful the one-off game can be a massive benefit to those in need.
"People are going through some really tough times and I think everybody has been thinking about ways that they can help," he said.
"I don't think there's many people across the country who haven't been touched or know somebody that has been touched by the bushfires in some way, shape or form.
"I'm no different to anyone else, so I'm thrilled to play some small part in being able to help.
"I was speaking to a lady in Albury yesterday who was incredibly supportive to our family (in the past), and she's fighting a fire at the back door of her property.
"It's going to be a tough fight for her and I'm sure there's stories like that all over Australia.
While details of how teams will be selected are still being worked out at League headquarters, players like Patrick Dangerfield, Marcus Bontempelli, Dustin Martin and Jeremy Cameron could pull on the 'Big V', with Nat Fyfe, Stephen Coniglio, Lachie Neale, Patrick Cripps and Tim Kelly a chance to play for the All Stars.
"I don't want to throw out too many names but (Nic) Naitanui to (Nat) Fyfe doesn't sound too bad," Longmire said with a laugh.
MOCK TEAMS Who makes the cut for Vics v All Stars?
"I don't think there'll be too much coaching getting done, I think I'll push them down the race and let them go.
"I've had a sneaky peak (at a potential team) and thrown some magnets around, you can't help but have a bit of a look.
"The opportunity for the players to play with other great names of our game is a unique experience and they're really looking forward to it."
Sydney superstar Lance Franklin would have been a lock to start in Longmire's forward line if he was available, but knee surgery has ruled him out.
The four-time Coleman medallist pulled up sore from a New Year's Eve training session and the Swans moved quickly to get him in for surgery.
He's expected to resume full training on the eve of the season.
"I said to him 'you might be a chance to come back earlier than we predicted' and he was really disappointed because he said the charity game is something he'd love to be a part of," Longmire said.
"It's unfortunate because he was absolutely flying before Christmas and he'd done more training in that period than he's ever done with us.
"He had the same operation on his other knee a few years ago and that’s been terrific, so we're confident he'll be ready to play the majority of the season."