SYDNEY remains torn on what to do with versatile young star Callum Mills after his impressive 12-possession second-half cameo as a midfielder last week.
Mills has spent most of his career down back but coach John Longmire thrust him into the centre after the Swans trailed the Western Bulldogs by five goals at half-time.
With a talent-laden West Coast onball brigade facing Longmire's side on Saturday, the tactic might be an option from the first bounce.
"The challenge is when looking at the team, who replaces him down back?" Longmire said.
"He's a very good defender and he could be a very good midfielder – I'm sure of it – but when you're looking at the balance of the team … (you've) got to replace him with a player you know can do the same thing in that previous role.
"That's always the challenge. It's not about what we think he can do in the midfield – we think he can be a pretty good player in our midfield. We've always thought that.
"But he's also a pretty good defender and there's nothing wrong with having good defenders, either."
That is just one of the decisions Sydney must make this week as it pivots to take on the out-of-sorts Eagles, rather than Melbourne, as was the case until Monday morning.
The Queensland Government's refusal to allow Richmond into the state because of COVID-19 concerns meant the AFL rejigged the fixture to send the Swans up there instead.
ROUNDS 5-7 Check out the full fixture
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"You just shift and get on with it," Longmire said.
"Our forward scout probably took a deep breath and had to get to work a bit harder than what he thought he had all done at the end of last week but we'll get on with that – that's only minor.
"It doesn't affect the team at all. We'll go about our preparation as normal. From a planning sense, we'll need an extra day to get that in order.
"(However) from a player's perspective, I don't see any impact at all, even though we're changing opponents. We have time to sort through that."
Tom McCartin (concussion) could return against West Coast after missing last week but hard-luck ruckman Sam Naismith will miss the rest of the season after sustaining a second ACL rupture on his right knee.
Callum Sinclair will again lead Sydney's ruck division in Naismith's absence.
Sam Reid (calf) also resumed training with the main group on Tuesday but Longmire said he was still about a fortnight from returning to play.
"We're mindful of those guys who have an injury record," he said.
"We have to make sure he's resilient enough, and that comes only through training sessions … we'll make sure he gets the miles in his legs to make him resilient enough not to get injured again."
Luke Parker will play his 200th game, a week after fellow premiership midfielder Josh Kennedy brought up his 250th.
"I remember him walking into my office at one stage when he was out of the team and just pleading to get back in the team as an 18-year-old kid … in his first year," Longmire said.
"Not many 18-year-olds come in and do that. I said, 'Why do you want to play?' and he said, 'I just want to get out and compete' – and that's what he's been like his whole career.
"Every time he runs out the race, you know you're going to get a competitor and that's a wonderful thing to say about a player, and fantastic to have that as a coach."