|This'll take sometime adjusting too...|
So it's as good as a done deal. Buddy to Sydney. Taking my Hawthorn bias out of the equation, what a major coup this is for the Bloods. Probably the biggest move since Lockett I'd suspect, and it has taken a whale of a deal to get it done. 10 million over 9 years...
9 YEARS! In what has essentially been the nail in the coffin for the cost of living allowance granted too the two Sydney sides, Franklin, already with 580 goals to his name arrives at the harbour bridge where he will undoubtedly play out his career.
A ballsy move by Sydney, and a move which GWS officials have categorically said they would never have made, signalling that their 6 year offer was pushing the boundaries of their list management strategy. What I will say is that the next 3-4 years will become paramount for the Swans football club, and they must win a premiership within this time period for this move to be somewhat successful. Personally I think 2 will be the number that can define it as an absolute success, given the pain that they leave themselves open to suffering in the latter years of this contract. Franklin will be 27 at the start of next years campaign. He has already had a history of injuries although on the minor side. His shoulders continue to be an issue and he has trouble making outstretched tackles due to the fact. Not too mention his contested marking has continued to drop, once again due to these shoulder issues. Regardless, forwards of his stature rarely play at a high level after the age of 30 and I truly suspect he'll be no different. Positives are he should make Sydney one of the strongest teams for the next few years, and they've certainly been bolder and more willing to take a gamble, unlike majority of their competition.
You have to feel for the AFL. In a year where nothing has gone right, they've now got to deal with another issue created solely by their own entity and has finally been exposed by a ruthless organisation. Whilst they may not outwardly suggest they have made an error, the proof is in the fact that they've immediately reviewed the cost of living allowance. This is not good for the AFL, having a team who won the premiership in 2012, going to Free Agency and stacking their side with two superstar full forwards in the previous two windows. McGuire has been leading the chorus, and it's just a matter of time before this extra 9.8% or roughly 1 million dollars in the salary cap is gone. In news just released, the AFL apparently have plans to scupper this deal altogether...
Although I've loved watching this guy ever since he was a kid, I don't feel negatively towards him much at all. On the contrary to many one-eyed supporters calls, Lance is not someone who loves the limelight. At GWS, he would've been the figurehead of the club and almost certainly would've had to do something media orientated each week. This won't be the case at the Swans. He'll still have more work to do than the average member on the Bloods list, but that comes with being the most recent 100 goals in a season man. Sydney is an NRL/Soccer city. Unlike the AFL currently think, this won't change and although Buddy will be noticed on his nights out, it'll be a far different atmosphere to the one that he currently lives in. Not too mention the move. Reports claim that he can retire/get delisted after 5 years and get a pay out of roughly 4 million dollars. He has set up his future, and can enjoy a much more lax lifestyle still living within a 'happening' city.
Make no mistake, Lance Franklin is a fantasy Goliath. Previously you could've made a case that he is a must have forward in all formats of the game, especially considering his ability to absolute destroy opposing sides and thus produce monstrous scores! Looking at Buddy's previous DT/SC averages over the past 6 years (2013 to 2008- 78/90, 101/115, 101/110, 99/107, 80/87, 96/107), they read quite nicely indeed. People will ask why he dropped so significantly in 2013, and it is a fair question to be asked. Why did he? I believe anyone who watched the 2012 and 2013 Grand Final can see for themselves the apoplectic difference between the roles the former #5 pick played. In 2012, against the might of the Swans, Bud was the main man. He had the game on his boot to a large extent, but as Hawthorn supporters around the country have come to know, his kicking for goal is about as consistent as the umpires are on holding the ball decisions. He can be miraculous and dreadful within minutes of each other. Nonetheless, he was the undoubted vocal point of this top 4 side.
He wasn't in 2013.
In 2013, his average possession received was much higher up the field than in previous season, acknowledging his vastly changed role. The Hawks in essence didn't have a vocal point, but a variety of other forwards who could chip in rather than one main man attempt to kick the score. Thus Lance had a significant drop in output this season. Looking at a case study in Travis Cloke, the Pies leading forward man, he had a similar drop in fantasy form during his contract season. He has since rectified that by going back to his normal, 90+ average. Sydney will look to use every bit of football he has left in him and he won't be playing the role Hawthorn gave him this season. With Mumford going to GWS today, a back up ruck role is up for grabs. This will be Tippett's point of call, allowing Buddy to have the forward 50 to himself half the time and for the other half roam up the ground and use his athletic prowess to influence the contest. I'm tipping him to be a 90+/105+ type and he'll be in my team come Round 1.
So what do you think of the Buddy move? Leave your thoughts in the comments! Thanks for reading!