The West

Swans dismiss hoodoo at MCG
Sydney fans head to the MCG today. Pic: Getty Images

Sydney coach John Longmire has dismissed the significance of the club's poor record at the MCG, ruling it out as a factor in today's grand final against Hawthorn.

And Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson has backed young defender Ryan Schoenmakers, regarded as vulnerable by many critics and somebody the Swans can exploit.

Sydney's four-year MCG hoodoo and Schoenmakers' battle to contain quality forwards were the key topics at yesterday's grand final press conference, which followed a rain-sodden parade through Melbourne's CBD.

Sydney have not won a game at the MCG since 2009.

They have suffered eight losses and played in one draw at the ground since and the Hawks have beaten them at the venue twice in that time.

The Swans lost to Richmond by 29 points in their only match at the MCG this season. But that doesn't faze Longmire.

"We just look at what is in front of us and we concern ourselves with our preparation, as we do whether it is Adelaide in Adelaide or Collingwood last week or the Hawks this week," he said.

Schoenmakers has been one of the few topics of concern for confident Hawks fans over the past week after Adelaide's Kurt Tippett snapped a form slump against him in last Saturday's preliminary final to kick four goals.

"He still has a long way to go," Clarkson said of 21-year-old Schoenmakers.

"He is not a monster of a man, but he is learning his craft really well for us and we have been really happy with the contribution he has made.

"Our focus, despite being a little bit undersized down there, is to make sure those (bigger) types of players don't get one-out supply and laces out.

"That is why it is going to be a really pivotal battle in the midfield.

"If we can win that battle, we know it will give us a much greater chance of winning the game."

The West Australian

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