Bondi tragedy ‘so close to home’ for clubs: Longmire

Esther Linder |

Sydney AFL coach John Longmire has discussed community support after the nearby stabbing attack.
Sydney AFL coach John Longmire has discussed community support after the nearby stabbing attack.

Sydney Swans coach John Longmire has spoken with his NRL peer Trent Robinson about their communities supporting each other in the aftermath of the deadly Bondi Junction stabbing attack. 

The AFL’s Swans and the NRL’s Roosters, along with Super Rugby’s NSW Waratahs, are professional sporting clubs most closely associated with the area, all based at nearby Moore Park.  

“This is our local community,” Longmire told reporters on Tuesday, saying the tragedy was “so close to home”. 

“This is the people that come and support our clubs and to have it so close to home … it’s a terrible tragedy that’s unfolded in our backyard.”

Longmire said he had spoken to Sydney Roosters coach Robinson about the community coming together to support each other as the nation mourns those killed. 

Five women and one man died in the stabbing attack on Saturday at Bondi Junction Westfield shooping centre, while seven victims remain in hospital, including an infant girl, whose condition has improved from critical to serious.

The killer, 40-year-old Queensland man Joel Cauchi, was shot dead by police at the scene.

“I was talking to Trent Robinson about it last night you know, this is our clubs’ areas,” Longmire said.

“It’s just five minutes away and all of our kids go there (Bondi Junction Westfield), our kids families go there, our friends. We go there, we travel there all the time. And just by a stroke of luck, they – you know, our friends and our family weren’t there but a lot of people were.”

The AFL club gathered on Monday during training to speak with players and families about the attack, and to mourn alongside the wider Sydney community. 

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who laid flowers at the scene with NSW premier Chris Minns on Sunday, said it was a difficult time as the nation grieved.

“At the same time, there are extraordinary acts of heroism that we applaud,” Mr Albanese said.

Since the attack, official flags have flown at half mast and the Sydney Opera House sails were lit with a black ribbon on Monday night. 

A permanent memorial is being considered for near the shopping centre site.

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