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A case of Buddy and buyer beware

Lance Franklin battles Geelong's Tom Lonergan.

Lance Franklin battles Geelong's Tom Lonergan.

Warwick Capper was a very good forward for Sydney in the mid-1980s and was its leading  goalkicker from 1984 to ’87. In 1987 he kicked 103 goals to become only the second Swans player to achieve that feat. The great Bob Pratt kicked more than 100 goals for the Swans (then South Melbourne) in each of 1933, ’34 and ’35.

But at the end of ’87, ‘‘The Wiz’’ took the money and ran. He headed north to the Gold Coast and became a Brisbane Bear. It was a disastrous career move.
Capper left a top-four team that was coached by Tom  Hafey. The small SCG suited him as the likes of Gerard Healy, Greg Williams and Barry Mitchell could hit him with bullet-like passes from the midfield.

On top of that, Mark Bayes and Mark Browning would unload their long left-foot bombs from the half-back line to allow Capper to fly for the screamers he excelled at. The quantity and quality of ball coming into Capper gave him every chance to shine.

Not so with the Bears. The Carrara ground was much bigger, and the ball came to Capper in a slower, sloppier and less frequent fashion.

So, in his three years as a Bear, Capper’s stocks fell. He averaged just 24 goals a season and, at the age of 27, his career was effectively over.

It’s a true story that Lance Franklin should be aware of as he ponders a move to Greater Western Sydney.

Watch ‘‘Buddy’’ play and his sole focus is to score. He would kill for a goal. That’s what excites him. That’s how he measures his worth. Often, he is selfish in his desire to let fly at goals. But that’s not such a bad fault. He has been the Hawks’ leading goalkicker for the past six seasons.

He is eight goals behind Jarryd Roughead this season, and although he wouldn’t admit it, will be desperate to secure a seventh award.

Last Friday night, Franklin lit up the stage and kicked eight goals against Essendon. The strut was back and most pundits gave him the three votes.

But Franklin, 26,  should look very closely at how he got his haul. The first came in a contested mark against his opponent Jake Carlisle. Good. But the next seven were softies. Three were handball receives, and four were from short passes that hit him on the chest. His principal suppliers were Roughead, Sam Mitchell and Cyril Rioli.

Of course, Franklin had to position himself, and a couple of his kick-on-the-curve left-footers from 50 metres were beauties. But the bottom line is, the supply was A-grade.

The Hawks average 15 marks inside their forward-50 a game – No.1 in the AFL – with an average of 57 entries. But Greater Western Sydney is ranked last, with just seven marks a game from an average of 40 entries.

These are facts and figures that the man who delights in kicking goals should consider.

It would be much harder for Franklin to star, going from a very good team to a poor team, than it was for Gary Ablett.

Why? Because Ablett, as a midfielder, can put himself wherever the ball is. Franklin, as a forward, can’t. As Jack Dyer used to say: “It’s no good being where the ball ain’t.”

And the Giants should seriously consider whether Franklin is needed. The Giants already have a gun key forward in Jeremy Cameron. The 20-year-old kicked seven goals out of his team’s 10 last week against Collingwood. That took his season tally to 50. It’s a remarkable effort for a young man playing for a team that has yet to win a game. Could he win the Coleman Medal?

Sadly, another young big forward in Jonathon Patton has gone down injured. But the former No.1 draft pick will be back next year. It gives the Giants the two power forwards they need. Plus, it’s nice to grow your own, as the Brisbane Lions and Geelong did for their trio of premierships.

Realistically, the priority for Greater Western Sydney is to strengthen its back line. The Giants desperately need some quality tall defenders.
Former Carlton players Bret Thornton and Setanta  O’hAilpin aren’t up to it. Chad Cornes has been forced into retirement, Tim Mohr tries hard but isn’t the answer, and Phil Davis disappoints. Surely after four years in the system he can show some muscle definition. He needs to get to work.

As it stands, the average score against the Giants is a whopping 136 points a game. Compare that with Fremantle’s 70.

Having the No.1 pick in this year’s draft, I think GWS should forget Franklin and think how it can use it to get quality height in defence.

And forget the Franklin marketing angle. It’s not something he enjoys and when you have got Cameron, a young midfield gun in Dylan Shiel and a terrific captain in Callan Ward, the Giants should promote what’s in their own backyard.

On Saturday, Franklin will step on to the MCG in front of a big crowd against Richmond. At the same time, the Giants will be playing Melbourne at Skoda Stadium, where there might be 6000 in attendance.

Just where do you think he would rather be? So it’s very much a case of Buddy and buyer beware.

I think it will be a win-win situation if Franklin stays a Hawk and the Giants show patience, promote their own, and use their prized No.1 draft pick wisely.

37 comments so far

  • Spot on Wallsey, spot on...................

    Commenter
    Tim
    Location
    Adelaide Ahawk
    Date and time
    August 01, 2013, 5:04PM
    • But Buddy is all about the $$$$. There's the tshirts, the Buddy ball, the club pay, the sponsorships, club promotional work amongst others and he still isn't happy! Let him go I say!

      Commenter
      Craig
      Date and time
      August 01, 2013, 8:09PM
    • Yes and you forgot to mention that Buddy fails in finals and the big games. To me, he is highly overrated and until he can prove himself capable of performing while the pressure is on he is unworthy of GWS chasing him. Between Franklin, Cloke and Riewoldt only Cloke has proven himself. Franklin and Riewoldt just haven't been able to stand up under intense pressure. If you disagree with me, watch all their finals replays. Pretty pitiful really.

      Commenter
      Grahame
      Date and time
      August 01, 2013, 9:18PM
    • For the record, Lance Franklin has kicked 41.24 in 11 finals appearances. Pitiful or scintillating Grahame ?? Get your facts right. Or has your team been on the receiving end of a Buddy explosion and it still hurts.

      Commenter
      Steve K
      Date and time
      August 02, 2013, 9:55AM
    • You're Joking Grahame. Franklin Kicked 3 goals from 24 disposals and 8 marks in the 2012 grand final. He was brilliant in a losing side and kept them in the game.

      Commenter
      Mick
      Location
      Tigerland
      Date and time
      August 02, 2013, 10:10AM
    • After reading Robert Wall's article I thought ignorance had hit a new low. Then I read Grahame's comment. Franklin averages more goals in finals than he does in home and away games. He also averages more goals in finals than any other player in the competition. Get a clue.

      Commenter
      Nemos
      Date and time
      August 02, 2013, 10:17AM
    • Franklin is an over hyped show pony who may well get Robert Walls all excited as he showboats along the wing in a run of the mill home and away games but you wouldn’t want him choking in the GF again. So he’s kicked 41.24 from 11 finals.. for what result? a 2008 medal 5 years ago and as for 2012 GF with 3 goals, not one was a clutch kick,missed the 1st kick in the match & 1 for the quarter, 2nd quarter out of bounds, 2 in the 3rd and nothing in the last when it really counts as the Swans dug in & Franklin went missing, yeah, he’s a player I’d want..

      Commenter
      GS of Geelong
      Location
      Geelong
      Date and time
      August 02, 2013, 3:07PM
  • "Plus, it's nice to grow your own, as Brisbane and Geelong did for their trio of premierships."

    Brisbane got Alistair Lynch from Fitzroy

    Geelong got Cam Mooney from Nth Melbourne

    Robert Walls got a selective memory that makes him a clown

    Commenter
    killerspud
    Location
    melbourne
    Date and time
    August 01, 2013, 5:11PM
    • Cats grew their own but not sure about Brisbane..
      Lynch - 2 million dollar man stolen from Fitzroy
      Brown - a Fitzroy father-son
      Johnson - Fitzroy
      Michael - Collingwood
      Brad Scott - Hawthorn
      Caracella - Essendon
      Pike - Kangaroos
      coach Matthews - AFL money to pay his contract

      Commenter
      Moe
      Date and time
      August 01, 2013, 6:11PM
    • Wow. 2 examples out of a combined list of 80 players. You've convince me!

      Commenter
      unicorn7
      Location
      the hyper-dimensional field
      Date and time
      August 01, 2013, 11:23PM

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AFL 2015

Round 1
Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
CAR 78 vs RIC 105 Report Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
MEL 115 vs GCF 89 Stats
SYD 72 vs ESS 60 Stats
BRI 74 vs COL 86 Stats
WBU 97 vs WCE 87 Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 78 vs GWS 87 Stats
ADE 140 vs NTH 63 Stats
FRE 75 vs PTA 68 Stats
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 123 vs GEE 61 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
WCE 131 vs CAR 62 Stats
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 66 vs WBU 85 Report Stats
GWS 101 vs MEL 56 Stats
COL 63 vs ADE 90 Report Stats
GCF 76 vs STK 104 Stats
PTA 44 vs SYD 92 Stats
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
GEE 60 vs FRE 104 Stats
ESS 78 vs HAW 76 Stats
NTH 133 vs BRI 51 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
COL 140 vs STK 66 Stats
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
CAR 84 vs ESS 105 Stats
ADE 80 vs MEL 55 Stats
SYD 111 vs GWS 90 Report Stats
NTH 105 vs PTA 113 Stats
BRI 58 vs RIC 137 Stats
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 127 vs WBU 57 Stats
GEE 105 vs GCF 96 Stats
WCE 81 vs FRE 111 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 51 vs MEL 83 Stats
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 81 vs CAR 121 Report Report Stats
ESS 49 vs COL 69 Report Stats
GWS 119 vs GCF 53 Stats
PTA 99 vs HAW 91 Stats
FRE 74 vs SYD 60 Stats
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI 65 vs WCE 118 Stats
GEE 67 vs NTH 83 Stats
WBU 125 vs ADE 68 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR 45 vs COL 120 Stats
Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
RIC 76 vs GEE 85 Stats
SYD 73 vs WBU 77 Stats
GCF 118 vs BRI 54 Stats
NTH 70 vs HAW 130 Stats
WCE 120 vs GWS 33 Stats
Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
MEL 50 vs FRE 118 Stats
STK 80 vs ESS 82 Stats
ADE 91 vs PTA 115 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
COL 59 vs GEE 100 Stats
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
NTH 109 vs RIC 74 Stats
WBU 87 vs STK 94 Stats
GWS 108 vs HAW 98 Stats
GCF 78 vs ADE 119 Stats
MEL 50 vs SYD 88 Stats
FRE 80 vs ESS 52 Stats
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR 75 vs BRI 84 Report Stats
PTA 68 vs WCE 78 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS 82 vs NTH 93 Stats
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
ADE 119 vs STK 73 Stats
HAW 155 vs MEL 50 Stats
CAR 57 vs GWS 135 Stats
SYD 120 vs GEE 77 Stats
WCE 135 vs GCF 43 Stats
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
WBU 88 vs FRE 101 Stats
RIC 105 vs COL 100 Report Stats
BRI 102 vs PTA 65 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
GEE 140 vs CAR 63 Report Stats
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
STK 78 vs WCE 131 Report Stats
GWS 108 vs ADE 84 Report Stats
GCF 63 vs COL 132 Report Stats
HAW 69 vs SYD 73 Report Stats
FRE 115 vs NTH 42 Report Stats
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS 136 vs BRI 78 Report Stats
MEL 103 vs WBU 64 Report Stats
PTA 43 vs RIC 76 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
SYD 122 vs CAR 62 Report Stats
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
HAW 93 vs GCF 40 Report Stats
MEL 54 vs PTA 115 Report Stats
WBU 113 vs GWS 68 Report Stats
RIC 72 vs ESS 59 Report Stats
ADE 57 vs FRE 68 Report Stats
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI 86 vs STK 108 Report Stats
COL 112 vs NTH 95 Report Stats
WCE 120 vs GEE 64 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE vs RIC 20:10Domain Stadium
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR vs ADE 13:40MCG
GCF vs SYD 16:35MS
ESS vs GEE 19:20ES
PTA vs WBU 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
GWS vs BRI 13:10Spotless Stadium
NTH vs WCE 15:20BA
STK vs HAW 16:40ES
Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL vs COL 15:20MCG
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
PTA vs GEE 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
GCF vs FRE 13:40MS
WCE vs ESS 16:35Domain Stadium
NTH vs SYD 19:20ES
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
COL vs GWS 13:10MCG
STK vs MEL 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
ADE vs HAW 19:50Adelaide Oval
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
RIC vs WCE 19:50MCG
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR vs PTA 13:40MCG
GWS vs NTH 16:35Spotless Stadium
WBU vs BRI 19:20ES
Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
GEE vs MEL 15:20SS
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE vs COL 20:10Domain Stadium
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs RIC 19:50SCG
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
HAW vs ESS 13:40MCG
BRI vs ADE 16:35G
STK vs WBU 19:20ES
Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR vs GCF 15:20ES
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs PTA 19:20SCG
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
COL vs HAW 19:50MCG
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC vs GWS 13:40MCG
GCF vs NTH 16:35MS
WBU vs CAR 19:20ES
MEL vs WCE 19:40TIO
Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS vs STK 13:10ES
ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
FRE vs BRI 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA vs COL 19:50Adelaide Oval
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC vs CAR 19:50MCG
Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS vs MEL 13:40MCG
WBU vs GCF 16:35CAZ
NTH vs GEE 19:20ES
WCE vs ADE 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs STK 13:10Spotless Stadium
HAW vs FRE 15:20AS
BRI vs SYD 16:40G
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
NTH vs ESS 19:50ES
Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
GEE vs WBU 13:45SS
GCF vs GWS 14:10MS
COL vs WCE 16:35ES
SYD vs HAW 19:20ANZ
FRE vs CAR 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
MEL vs BRI 13:10MCG
PTA vs ADE 15:20Adelaide Oval
STK vs RIC 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR vs HAW 19:50ES
Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs GEE 13:45SO
ADE vs GCF 14:10Adelaide Oval
RIC vs FRE 16:35MCG
ESS vs PTA 19:20ES
BRI vs NTH 19:20G
Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
WBU vs COL 13:10ES
MEL vs STK 15:20MCG
WCE vs SYD 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
HAW vs RIC 19:50MCG
Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE vs BRI 13:45SS
COL vs MEL 14:10MCG
SYD vs ADE 16:35SCG
CAR vs NTH 19:20ES
GCF vs WCE 19:20MS
Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
PTA vs STK 13:10Adelaide Oval
ESS vs WBU 15:20ES
FRE vs GWS 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE vs RIC 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
COL vs CAR 13:45MCG
WBU vs PTA 14:10ES
BRI vs GCF 16:35G
GEE vs SYD 19:20SS
WCE vs HAW 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL vs NTH 13:10MCG
GWS vs ESS 15:20Spotless Stadium
STK vs FRE 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
SYD vs COL 19:50SCG
Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
ESS vs ADE 13:45ES
NTH vs STK 14:10BA
PTA vs GWS 16:35Adelaide Oval
GEE vs HAW 19:20MCG
BRI vs CAR 19:20G
Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
RIC vs GCF 13:10MCG
WBU vs MEL 15:20ES
FRE vs WCE 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
HAW vs PTA 19:50ES
Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
COL vs RIC 13:45MCG
GWS vs SYD 14:10Spotless Stadium
GCF vs ESS 16:35MS
STK vs GEE 19:20ES
ADE vs BRI 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
NTH vs FRE 13:10ES
CAR vs MEL 15:20MCG
WCE vs WBU 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE vs COL 19:50MCG
Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
GWS vs CAR 13:45Spotless Stadium
HAW vs BRI 14:10AS
NTH vs WBU 16:35ES
ESS vs RIC 19:20MCG
GCF vs PTA 19:20MS
Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE vs WCE 13:10Adelaide Oval
STK vs SYD 15:20ES
FRE vs MEL 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
COL vs ESS 00:00MCG
RIC vs NTH 00:00ES
HAW vs CAR 00:00MCG
GEE vs ADE 00:00SS
SYD vs GCF 00:00SCG
MEL vs GWS 00:00ES
BRI vs WBU 00:00G
PTA vs FRE 00:30Adelaide Oval
WCE vs STK 02:00Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
AFL 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D % Pts
Fremantle 9 9 0 0 151.61 36
West Coast Eagles 9 7 2 0 161.19 28
Sydney Swans 9 7 2 0 134.49 28
Collingwood 9 6 3 0 128.24 24
GWS Giants 9 6 3 0 110.26 24
Hawthorn 9 5 4 0 151.26 20
Adelaide Crows 9 5 4 0 113.37 20
Richmond 9 5 4 0 108.86 20
View all
 
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