The Sydney Swans are downplaying expectations for Lance Franklin in the legend’s final season
Lance Franklin’s contribution to the Sydney Swans should no longer be measured solely in goals, says coach John Longmire, but in the opportunities his presence can offer his teammates as the champ forward prepares for his final year in the AFL.
The Swans have been careful to live up to expectations for the eight-time All Australian, who has endured a disrupted summer after showing signs towards the end of last season that his unrivaled powers are understandably flagging.
After completing the nine-year, $10 million contract he signed after leaving Hawthorn, Franklin signed a one-year extension and is aiming to kick off this September with a third AFL premiership career and a Red and White premiere in to ride the sunset .
But after an indifferent final series and a goalless five-decider performance in Sydney’s Grand Final disaster against Geelong, some former AFL greats have questioned whether he still has enough juice in the tank to perform at the highest level.
Franklin, 36, looked a little reddish as he walked past the Swans’ new base at the Royal Hall of Industries in Moore Park on Monday, with almost his entire left leg wrapped in compression clothing, but Longmire said that was typical of every athlete of his age, and predict the likelihood that he will rest once every four or five weeks.
“Most weeks he still has something to do at 36. I’m sure it’s not too unexpected,” Longmire told reporters ahead of Sydney’s first-round clash at the Gold Coast Suns on Saturday night.
“He’s fine, he’s fine. It’s fantastic that he’s saddled up for his 19th season in AFL football. It’s really extraordinary [at] 36 years old. We ran him over the off-season, he had a little bit of a calf [issue] since then he has been able to train properly over Christmas.
“He came back and played half to three quarters [two] Practice games and got a bit of contact. He was able to do really good training last week, last Thursday was a real hit for him… hopefully he did well, comes through this week and is up for the week.”
https://www.smh.com.au/sport/afl/swans-play-down-buddy-expectations-in-legend-s-final-season-20230313-p5crmm.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_sport The Sydney Swans are downplaying expectations for Lance Franklin in the legend’s final season