Sydney Swans coach John Longmire wants young Bloods backs to step up

Sydney coach John Longmire wants his emerging AFL key defenders Lewis Melican and Aliir Aliir to take the load of their more experienced colleagues next season.

Melican, 21, displayed composure and assurance in his first season and became a permanent fixture in the Swans side after debuting in round five

He played 17 games before a quadriceps injury ended his run in the side just prior to the finals.

23-year-old Aliir made his first 13 appearances in 2016, thrilling fans with his dash and athleticism before a knee injury ruled him out of the grand final.