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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 2016

Round 1
Thu, 24 MarTimes shown AEDT
RIC vs CAR 19:20MCG
Sat, 26 MarTimes shown AEDT
MEL vs GWS 13:40MCG
GCF vs ESS 16:35MS
NTH vs ADE 19:25ES
SYD vs COL 19:25ANZ
Sun, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
WBU vs FRE 13:10ES
PTA vs STK 15:20Adelaide Oval
WCE vs BRI 19:40Domain Stadium
Mon, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
GEE vs HAW 15:20MCG
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 01 AprTimes shown AEDT
COL vs RIC 19:50MCG
Sat, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs PTA 13:45Adelaide Oval
ESS vs MEL 14:10MCG
BRI vs NTH 16:35G
STK vs WBU 19:25ES
FRE vs GCF 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 03 AprTimes shown AEST
GWS vs GEE 13:10SO
HAW vs WCE 15:20MCG
CAR vs SYD 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 08 AprTimes shown AEST
PTA vs ESS 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 09 AprTimes shown AEST
STK vs COL 13:45MCG
RIC vs ADE 14:10ES
SYD vs GWS 16:35SCG
GCF vs CAR 19:25MS
WCE vs FRE 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
NTH vs MEL 13:10BA
WBU vs HAW 15:20ES
GEE vs BRI 16:40SS
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 15 AprTimes shown AEST
WCE vs RIC 20:10Domain Stadium
Sat, 16 AprTimes shown AEST
ESS vs GEE 13:45MCG
HAW vs STK 14:10AS
BRI vs GCF 16:35G
CAR vs WBU 19:25ES
ADE vs SYD 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
GWS vs PTA 13:10SO
COL vs MEL 15:20MCG
NTH vs FRE 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 22 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW vs ADE 19:50MCG
Sat, 23 AprTimes shown AEST
SYD vs WCE 13:40SCG
GCF vs NTH 16:35MS
WBU vs BRI 19:25ES
PTA vs GEE 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
STK vs GWS 13:10ES
FRE vs CAR 16:10Domain Stadium
MEL vs RIC 19:10MCG
Mon, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
COL vs ESS 15:20MCG
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 29 AprTimes shown AEST
NTH vs WBU 19:50ES
Sat, 30 AprTimes shown AEST
MEL vs STK 13:45ES
ADE vs FRE 14:10Adelaide Oval
GWS vs HAW 16:35Spotless Stadium
RIC vs PTA 19:25MCG
GEE vs GCF 19:25SS
Sun, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI vs SYD 13:10G
CAR vs ESS 15:20MCG
WCE vs COL 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 06 MayTimes shown AEST
RIC vs HAW 19:50MCG
Sat, 07 MayTimes shown AEST
COL vs CAR 13:45MCG
GEE vs WCE 14:10SS
SYD vs ESS 16:35ANZ
GCF vs MEL 17:10MS
WBU vs ADE 19:40ES
FRE vs GWS 20:10Domain Stadium
Sun, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
STK vs NTH 15:20ES
PTA vs BRI 16:40Adelaide Oval
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Round 8
Fri, 13 MayTimes shown AEST
ADE vs GEE 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 14 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS vs NTH 13:45ES
HAW vs FRE 14:10AS
GWS vs GCF 16:35Spotless Stadium
BRI vs COL 19:25G
RIC vs SYD 19:25MCG
Sun, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR vs PTA 13:10ES
MEL vs WBU 15:20MCG
WCE vs STK 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 9
Fri, 20 MayTimes shown AEST
HAW vs SYD 19:50MCG
Sat, 21 MayTimes shown AEST
COL vs GEE 13:45MCG
GCF vs ADE 14:10MS
PTA vs WCE 16:35Adelaide Oval
NTH vs CAR 19:25ES
FRE vs RIC 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
MEL vs BRI 13:10MCG
GWS vs WBU 15:20Spotless Stadium
STK vs ESS 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 27 MayTimes shown AEST
SYD vs NTH 19:50SCG
Sat, 28 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI vs HAW 13:45G
MEL vs PTA 14:10TIO Traeger Park
STK vs FRE 16:35ES
ESS vs RIC 19:25MCG
ADE vs GWS 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR vs GEE 13:10ES
COL vs WBU 15:20MCG
WCE vs GCF 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 11
Fri, 03 JunTimes shown AEST
NTH vs RIC 19:50BA
Sat, 04 JunTimes shown AEST
HAW vs MEL 13:45MCG
CAR vs BRI 14:10ES
GEE vs GWS 16:35SS
GCF vs SYD 19:25MS
FRE vs ESS 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
COL vs PTA 13:10MCG
WBU vs WCE 15:20ES
ADE vs STK 16:40Adelaide Oval
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Round 12
Fri, 10 JunTimes shown AEST
ESS vs HAW 19:50ES
Sat, 11 JunTimes shown AEST
PTA vs WBU 13:40Adelaide Oval
BRI vs FRE 16:35G
GEE vs NTH 19:25ES
WCE vs ADE 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
STK vs CAR 13:10ES
RIC vs GCF 15:20MCG
GWS vs SYD 16:40Spotless Stadium
Mon, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL vs COL 15:20MCG
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Round 13
Fri, 17 JunTimes shown AEST
NTH vs HAW 19:50ES
Sat, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI vs WCE 13:40G
FRE vs PTA 16:35Domain Stadium
WBU vs GEE 19:25ES
Sun, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs MEL 13:10SCG
ESS vs GWS 16:40ES
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Round 14
Thu, 23 JunTimes shown AEST
ADE vs NTH 19:50Adelaide Oval
Fri, 24 JunTimes shown AEST
COL vs FRE 19:50MCG
Sat, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
RIC vs BRI 13:40MCG
GWS vs CAR 16:35Spotless Stadium
STK vs GEE 19:25ES
Sun, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
HAW vs GCF 15:20AS
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Round 15
Thu, 30 JunTimes shown AEST
WCE vs ESS 20:10Domain Stadium
Fri, 01 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA vs RIC 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
GCF vs STK 13:40MS
SYD vs WBU 16:35SCG
CAR vs COL 19:25MCG
Sun, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
MEL vs ADE 15:20MCG
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Round 16
Thu, 07 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA vs HAW 19:50Adelaide Oval
Fri, 08 JulTimes shown AEST
GEE vs SYD 19:50SS
Sat, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs COL 13:40Spotless Stadium
GCF vs BRI 16:35MS
WBU vs RIC 19:25ES
MEL vs FRE 19:40TIO
Sun, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR vs ADE 13:10MCG
WCE vs NTH 15:20Domain Stadium
ESS vs STK 16:40ES
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Round 17
Thu, 14 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs HAW 19:20SCG
Fri, 15 JulTimes shown AEST
FRE vs GEE 20:10Domain Stadium
Sat, 16 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC vs ESS 13:40MCG
NTH vs PTA 16:35ES
WBU vs GCF 19:25CAZ
ADE vs COL 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR vs WCE 13:10MCG
STK vs MEL 15:20ES
BRI vs GWS 16:40G
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Round 18
Fri, 22 JulTimes shown AEST
COL vs NTH 19:50ES
Sat, 23 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs CAR 13:45ANZ
GCF vs FRE 14:10MS
WCE vs MEL 16:35Domain Stadium
WBU vs STK 19:25ES
GEE vs ADE 19:25SS
Sun, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS vs BRI 13:10ES
HAW vs RIC 15:20MCG
PTA vs GWS 16:40Adelaide Oval
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Round 19
Fri, 29 JulTimes shown AEST
GEE vs WBU 19:50SS
Sat, 30 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs RIC 13:45SO
HAW vs CAR 14:10AS
COL vs WCE 16:35MCG
BRI vs PTA 19:25G
NTH vs STK 19:25ES
Sun, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
MEL vs GCF 13:10MCG
FRE vs SYD 15:20Domain Stadium
ADE vs ESS 16:40Adelaide Oval
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 05 AugTimes shown AEST
RIC vs COL 19:50MCG
Sat, 06 AugTimes shown AEST
SYD vs PTA 13:45SCG
MEL vs HAW 14:10MCG
GCF vs GWS 16:35MS
WBU vs NTH 19:25ES
ADE vs BRI 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
CAR vs STK 13:10MCG
GEE vs ESS 15:20ES
FRE vs WCE 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Fri, 12 AugTimes shown AEST
WBU vs COL 19:50ES
Sat, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CAR 13:45G
HAW vs NTH 14:10MCG
GWS vs WCE 16:35Spotless Stadium
STK vs SYD 19:25ES
PTA vs MEL 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
ESS vs GCF 13:10ES
RIC vs GEE 15:20MCG
FRE vs ADE 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Fri, 19 AugTimes shown AEST
WCE vs HAW 20:10Domain Stadium
Sat, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
NTH vs SYD 13:45BA
RIC vs STK 14:10MCG
GWS vs FRE 16:35Spotless Stadium
COL vs GCF 19:25ES
PTA vs ADE 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
CAR vs MEL 13:10MCG
BRI vs GEE 15:20G
ESS vs WBU 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Sat, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
HAW vs COL 12:00MCG
STK vs BRI 12:00ES
ESS vs CAR 12:00MCG
GCF vs PTA 12:00MS
SYD vs RIC 12:00SCG
NTH vs GWS 12:00ES
GEE vs MEL 12:00SS
ADE vs WCE 12:30Adelaide Oval
FRE vs WBU 14:00Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
AFL 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D % Pts
Adelaide Crows 0 0 0 0 - 0
Brisbane Lions 0 0 0 0 - 0
Carlton 0 0 0 0 - 0
Collingwood 0 0 0 0 - 0
Essendon 0 0 0 0 - 0
Fremantle 0 0 0 0 - 0
Geelong Cats 0 0 0 0 - 0
Gold Coast Suns 0 0 0 0 - 0
View all
 

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