Swans coach reveals there could be big changes in store for Buddy Franklin as superstar is due to be the AFL’s oldest player this season
- Swans won’t pin all their hopes on Buddy Franklin this season
- At 36, the veteran key forward will be the oldest player in the AFL
- Coach John Longmire wants other players to step up for Sydney
Sydney Swans coach John Longmire has revealed Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin is likely to have a very different on-field role this season.
At 36, Franklin is officially the oldest player in the AFL – and 2023 looms as his final campaign booting a Sherrin.
The champion key forward – who kicked his 1000th career goal against eventual premiers Geelong early last season in unforgettable scenes at the SCG – is more likely to be an impact option over the coming months.
Longmire stated there won’t be a reliance on Franklin to win games himself for the Bloods from his famed left foot.
‘I would have thought that’s a good sign for our footy club,’ he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
‘Lance shouldn’t have to be a star performer every year, particularly at [his age] 35, 36.
Swans coach John Longmire has revealed Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin is likely to have a different on-field role this season
2023 is tipped to be Buddy’s final season in the AFL, and he has indicated he wants to spend more time with his family (pictured, wife Jesinta Franklin)
The glamour couple married in November of 2016 and have gone onto have two children
‘I think clearly that’s an unrealistic expectation.’
There is a school of thought in some footy circles Franklin is past his best.
He was ineffective in the grand final against Geelong last September – and kicked just two goals in the finals series.
But another season return of 50 plus goals – which he achieved in 2021 and 2022 – will please Longmire and his teammates.
The Swans begin their chase for premiership glory on the road against the Gold Coast Suns on March 18.
They are sixth in the line for flag honours at a juicy $10, behind Geelong ($5.50), Melbourne ($7), Richmond ($8), Brisbane ($8.50) and Carlton ($9.50).