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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...................

    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!

      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.

      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.

      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.

      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.

      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..

      GS of 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

    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

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

      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 78vs RIC 105 Report Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
MEL 115vs GCF 89 Stats
SYD 72vs ESS 60 Stats
BRI 74vs COL 86 Stats
WBU 97vs WCE 87 Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 78vs GWS 87 Stats
ADE 140vs NTH 63 Stats
FRE 75vs PTA 68 Stats
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 123vs GEE 61 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
WCE 131vs CAR 62 Stats
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 66vs WBU 85 Report Stats
GWS 101vs MEL 56 Stats
COL 63vs ADE 90 Report Stats
GCF 76vs STK 104 Stats
PTA 44vs SYD 92 Stats
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
GEE 60vs FRE 104 Stats
ESS 78vs HAW 76 Stats
NTH 133vs BRI 51 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
COL 140vs STK 66 Stats
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
CAR 84vs ESS 105 Stats
ADE 80vs MEL 55 Stats
SYD 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
NTH 105vs PTA 113 Stats
BRI 58vs RIC 137 Stats
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 127vs WBU 57 Stats
GEE 105vs GCF 96 Stats
WCE 81vs FRE 111 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 51vs MEL 83 Stats
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 81vs CAR 121 Report Report Stats
ESS 49vs COL 69 Report Stats
GWS 119vs GCF 53 Stats
PTA 99vs HAW 91 Stats
FRE 74vs SYD 60 Stats
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI 65vs WCE 118 Stats
GEE 67vs NTH 83 Stats
WBU 125vs ADE 68 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR 45vs COL 120 Stats
Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
RIC 76vs GEE 85 Stats
SYD 73vs WBU 77 Stats
GCF 118vs BRI 54 Stats
NTH 70vs HAW 130 Stats
WCE 120vs GWS 33 Stats
Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
MEL 50vs FRE 118 Stats
STK 80vs ESS 82 Stats
ADE 91vs PTA 115 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
COL 59vs GEE 100 Stats
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
NTH 109vs RIC 74 Stats
WBU 87vs STK 94 Stats
GWS 108vs HAW 98 Stats
GCF 78vs ADE 119 Stats
MEL 50vs SYD 88 Stats
FRE 80vs ESS 52 Stats
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR 75vs BRI 84 Report Stats
PTA 68vs WCE 78 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS 82vs NTH 93 Stats
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
ADE 119vs STK 73 Stats
HAW 155vs MEL 50 Stats
CAR 57vs GWS 135 Stats
SYD 120vs GEE 77 Stats
WCE 135vs GCF 43 Stats
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
WBU 88vs FRE 101 Stats
RIC 105vs COL 100 Report Stats
BRI 102vs PTA 65 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
GEE 140vs CAR 63 Report Stats
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
STK 78vs WCE 131 Report Stats
GWS 108vs ADE 84 Report Stats
GCF 63vs COL 132 Report Stats
HAW 69vs SYD 73 Report Stats
FRE 115vs NTH 42 Report Stats
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS 136vs BRI 78 Report Stats
MEL 103vs WBU 64 Report Stats
PTA 43vs RIC 76 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
SYD 122vs CAR 62 Report Stats
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
HAW 93vs GCF 40 Report Stats
MEL 54vs PTA 115 Report Stats
WBU 113vs GWS 68 Report Stats
RIC 72vs ESS 59 Report Stats
ADE 57vs FRE 68 Report Stats
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI 86vs STK 108 Report Stats
COL 112vs NTH 95 Report Stats
WCE 120vs GEE 64 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE 70vs RIC 97 Report Stats
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR 90vs ADE 99 Report Stats
GCF 41vs SYD 93 Report Stats
ESS 53vs GEE 122 Report Stats
PTA 100vs WBU 62 Report Stats
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
GWS 97vs BRI 67 Report Stats
NTH 85vs WCE 75 Report Stats
STK 69vs HAW 132 Report Stats
Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL 85vs COL 110 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
PTA 69vs GEE 92 Report Stats
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
GCF 46vs FRE 53 Report Stats
WCE 96vs ESS 46 Report Stats
NTH 75vs SYD 91 Report Report Stats
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
COL 119vs GWS 77 Report Stats
STK 85vs MEL 83 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
ADE 85vs HAW 114 Report Stats
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
RIC 70vs WCE 90 Report Stats
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR 110vs PTA 106 Report Stats
GWS 61vs NTH 117 Report Stats
WBU 146vs BRI 74 Report Stats
Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
GEE 89vs MEL 113 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE 80vs COL 73 Report Stats
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD 77vs RIC 95 Report Stats
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
HAW 114vs ESS 76 Report Stats
BRI 69vs ADE 82 Report Stats
STK 56vs WBU 62 Report Stats
Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR 103vs GCF 69 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD 94vs PTA 84 Report Stats
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
COL 91vs HAW 101 Report Stats
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC 78vs GWS 69 Report Stats
GCF 125vs NTH 70 Report Stats
WBU 64vs CAR 53 Report Stats
MEL 60vs WCE 114 Report Stats
Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS 52vs STK 162 Stats
ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
FRE 84vs BRI 48 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA 66vs COL 63 Report Stats
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC 71vs CAR 41 Report Stats
Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS 69vs MEL 60 Report Stats
WBU 95vs GCF 73 Report Stats
NTH 120vs GEE 79 Report Stats
WCE 147vs ADE 91 Report Stats
Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS 84vs STK 49 Report Stats
HAW 115vs FRE 43 Report Stats
BRI 49vs SYD 70 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
NTH 93vs ESS 68 Report Stats
Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
GEE 72vs WBU 64 Report Stats
GCF 79vs GWS 94 Report Stats
COL 56vs WCE 87 Report Stats
SYD 57vs HAW 146 Report Stats
FRE 95vs CAR 53 Report Stats
Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
MEL 60vs BRI 36 Report Stats
PTA 113vs ADE 116 Report Stats
STK 73vs RIC 89 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR 35vs HAW 173 Report Stats
Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS 42vs GEE 69 Stats
ADE 125vs GCF 80 Stats
RIC 78vs FRE 82 Stats
ESS 116vs PTA 129 Stats
BRI 38vs NTH 110 Report Stats
Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
WBU 104vs COL 86 Report Stats
MEL 46vs STK 83 Report Stats
WCE 103vs SYD 51 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
HAW 53vs RIC 71 Report Stats
Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE 113vs BRI 57 Stats
COL 54vs MEL 91 Report Stats
SYD 117vs ADE 65 Report Stats
CAR 54vs NTH 118 Report Stats
GCF 83vs WCE 83 Report Stats
Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
PTA 112vs STK 49 Report Stats
ESS 40vs WBU 127 Report Stats
FRE 84vs GWS 63 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE 88vs RIC 52 Report Stats
Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
COL 105vs CAR 87 Report Stats
WBU 128vs PTA 64 Report Stats
BRI 100vs GCF 114 Report Stats
GEE 95vs SYD 63 Report Stats
WCE 74vs HAW 88 Report Stats
Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL 92vs NTH 127 Report Stats
GWS 93vs ESS 61 Report Stats
STK 59vs FRE 96 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
SYD 87vs COL 76 Report Stats
Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
ESS 59vs ADE 171 Report Stats
NTH 120vs STK 83 Report Stats
PTA 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
GEE 85vs HAW 121 Report Stats
BRI 131vs CAR 67 Report Stats
Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
RIC 138vs GCF 55 Report Stats
WBU 153vs MEL 55 Report Stats
FRE 80vs WCE 104 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
HAW 86vs PTA 108 Report Stats
Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
COL 56vs RIC 147 Report Stats
GWS 44vs SYD 133 Report Stats
GCF 97vs ESS 95 Report Stats
STK 97vs GEE 97 Report Stats
ADE 131vs BRI 44 Report Stats
Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
NTH 94vs FRE 83 Report Stats
CAR 78vs MEL 55 Report Stats
WCE 162vs WBU 85 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE 62vs COL 110 Report Stats
Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
GWS 132vs CAR 51 Report Stats
HAW 134vs BRI 62 Report Stats
NTH 73vs WBU 96 Report Stats
ESS 47vs RIC 74 Report Stats
GCF 51vs PTA 88 Report Stats
Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE 126vs WCE 69 Report Stats
STK 38vs SYD 135 Report Stats
FRE 108vs MEL 54 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
RIC 108vs NTH 67 Report Stats
Sat, 05 SepTimes shown AEST
GEE 119vs ADE 80 Report Stats
BRI 130vs WBU 122 Report Stats
PTA 122vs FRE 53 Report Stats
HAW 113vs CAR 56 Report Stats
SYD 127vs GCF 64 Report Stats
WCE 125vs STK 30 Report Stats
Sun, 06 SepTimes shown AEST
MEL 103vs GWS 77 Report Stats
COL 92vs ESS 95 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 24
Fri, 11 SepTimes shown AEST
WCE 96vs HAW 64 Report Stats
Sat, 12 SepTimes shown AEST
FRE 69vs SYD 60 Report Stats
WBU 102vs ADE 109 Report Stats
Sun, 13 SepTimes shown AEST
RIC 88vs NTH 105 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 25
Fri, 18 SepTimes shown AEST
HAW 135vs ADE 61 Report Stats
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
SYD 51vs NTH 77 Report Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 26
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
FRE 67vs HAW 94 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
WCE 80vs NTH 55 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 27
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
HAW 107vs WCE 61 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
AFL 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D % Pts
Fremantle 22 17 5 0 118.73 68
West Coast Eagles 22 16 5 1 148.22 66
Hawthorn 22 16 6 0 158.40 64
Sydney Swans 22 16 6 0 127.12 64
Richmond 22 15 7 0 123.09 60
Western Bulldogs 22 14 8 0 115.12 56
Adelaide Crows 21 13 8 0 115.71 54
North Melbourne 22 13 9 0 106.45 52
View all

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