Hawthorn should let Buddy walk

Sean Rogasch Roar Rookie

By Sean Rogasch, Sean Rogasch is a Roar Rookie

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    Buddy Franklin led Hawthorn to some spectacular wins before joining the Swans. (AFL media/Slattery Images).

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    Hawthorn should take the hard line and offer Lance Franklin only what it can afford when they come together to negotiate his contract at the end of the season. If the Hawks deal doesn’t satisfy Buddy, they should let him walk.

    This isn’t a regular opinion piece. It’s the view of a passionate Hawthorn member and supporter.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for the sustained success, dominating performances and those two running goals down the wing against Essendon, but looking at it logically, a move makes sense for both parties.

    Hawthorn has proven itself capable of winning (and winning well) without Franklin in the side. Since 2008 Alistair Clarkson has been tinkering with the formula and has slowly lessened the reliance on Buddy in the forward line.

    This year the game plan has gone so far away from Franklin as the centerpiece, Buddy was accused of poor form, despite clearly filling the role Clarkson desired of him.

    Given these changes, the reportedly more than $5 million offer, over five years, is far too exorbitant.

    The most concerning aspect of these reports is the five years. The last Hawk key forward to sign a five year deal was Nick Holland.

    While Franklin is clearly a superior player to Holland, he is an example of the fluctuations a player’s worth can take over five years, through injury and poor form.

    I’ve been a staunch defender of Franklin’s off-field behaviour, but it’s impossible to deny it may also present a risk.

    He has been forever linked to drama and problems away from the security of the club and, while much of it can be put down to rumour and innuendo, he always seems one misdemeanor away from disaster.

    Is all that money worth the risk?

    If Franklin moved on, the extra salary cap room created could set the club up for sustained success.

    Hawthorn should chase Dale Thomas. Hard. They can use a slab of the Buddy cash to lure him from the Magpies. He is exactly the sort of goal-kicking, hard and fast running midfielder Hawthorn crave.

    They have Isaac Smith filling that role very well this year, but, with no disrespect to Smith, Thomas is a step up in class from him.

    With the leftover cash (and there will still be plenty) the Hawks should chase a young up-and-coming midfielder from one of the expansion sides. As those sides develop and become finals contenders, some quality is inevitably going to be squeezed out. Think Josh Caddy to Geelong.

    Top of the wish list are Taylor Adams and Trent McKenzie.

    The compensation draft selection(s) received from Franklin leaving and/or a trade with GWS become a bonus on top of these pick ups and further rejuvenate the playing list.

    Letting Franklin leave will quickly transform in to a positive if handled correctly and used as the pivotal move in setting up the team’s on-field future.

    These arguments will become even stronger if the Hawks can snare an 11th premiership this September.

    If you had told any Hawthorn supporter in 2004 that their recruits, Franklin and his mates Jarryd Roughead and Jordan Lewis, would help take the team to football’s summit twice over their careers, we all would have taken that.

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    The Crowd Says (20)

    • September 4th 2013 @ 9:42am
      David said | September 4th 2013 @ 9:42am | ! Report

      I too am a Passionate Hawthorn Supporter and you make some very good points about Franklin leaving or staying.

      One thing that really worries me about him leaving is the disappointment it will have on the young supporters who love Buddy.
      The top merchandise sales from all clubs is Franklin and second is Rioli and this support for our stars will ensure our club will get stronger in the years ahead as these children grow up.

      We can not stop him leaving however it will be a real shame for our young supporters to lose a hero.

      • Roar Rookie

        September 4th 2013 @ 10:11am
        Sean Rogasch said | September 4th 2013 @ 10:11am | ! Report

        It’s a really good point. I suppose as a (only slightly) more mature supporter I was talking strictly about the on-field effects.
        There is no doubt Bud is by far the kids favourite, you just have to see how many wear 23 on their footy jumpers, or “Little Buddys” as I call them.
        It would be my hope the club can convert those kids into Little Cyrils, Little Gunstans or Big Puopolos’.
        I’d like to think the club is strong enough off the field now to cope.

      • September 4th 2013 @ 10:37am
        Connor said | September 4th 2013 @ 10:37am | ! Report

        The were hundreds of disappointed fans when G.Ablett left Geelong. They all got over it and their favourite player is now Cam Guthrie! Note, G Ablett, was, and still is my favourite player despite being at GC now

    • Roar Guru

      September 4th 2013 @ 10:07am
      Cat said | September 4th 2013 @ 10:07am | ! Report

      As a devout Hawthorn hater, I hope they over pay him and end up having to shed players in the future due to an onerous contract. My gut feeling is he’ll walk and Hawthorn will be better off for it tho.

      • September 4th 2013 @ 7:02pm
        Gayle said | September 4th 2013 @ 7:02pm | ! Report

        I never thought I would say it but Gene Anderson-Conklin I agree with you whole heartedly. I think that the name is somewhat bigger than the talent. The money is far more important to some of the top players.. No such thing as loyalty to the club nowdays.. Best if he kicks off to GWS… ASAP…

    • September 4th 2013 @ 11:02am
      Australian Rules said | September 4th 2013 @ 11:02am | ! Report

      I understand your points about Buddy leaving (certainly, the sun will come up at Hawthorn if he decides to go), but a big NO to D.Thomas…injury plagued, well past his best and an ordinary bloke by all accounts. The Hawks could do much better.

      • Roar Rookie

        September 4th 2013 @ 11:27am
        Sean Rogasch said | September 4th 2013 @ 11:27am | ! Report

        No doubt Daisy has had a bad year, but when he gets his body right, he is elite. Not sure about your second point on him, perhaps some reports, but I don’t think you can say all reports suggest he’s an ordinary bloke, as that’s certainly not what I’ve heard.

        • Roar Guru

          September 4th 2013 @ 2:27pm
          Cat said | September 4th 2013 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

          Daisy had one purple patch in his career and all of a sudden he became elite? Prior to that he was an overpaid under performer who got TV ads long before he ever did anything on the field to earn them. Now he has a bum ankle that so far has cost him an entire year. He is certain to be over paid by whomever signs him.

    • Roar Guru

      September 4th 2013 @ 11:29am
      mastermind5991 said | September 4th 2013 @ 11:29am | ! Report

      Buddy leaving Hawthorn won’t hurt the club in the long term – they still have the second-best forward in the competition in Jarryd Roughead. Such that the departures of Brendan Fevola and Barry Hall from Carlton and Sydney respectively didn’t hurt those clubs.

      In fact, Sydney went on to win the premiership without having a specialist full-forward.

      But by leaving the Hawks and joining (presumably) GWS then he could turn the club into a much better force than the one that could only win one game all year. They do have a good, full-forward in Jeremy Cameron, who finished in the top five in the Coleman Medal race. Buddy and Jezza could then form the most dangerous forward line in the AFL.

      But who knows what could happen?

      • Roar Rookie

        September 4th 2013 @ 11:45am
        Sean Rogasch said | September 4th 2013 @ 11:45am | ! Report

        It would a wonderful result for GWS. Both on the field and off.

        Can’t agree that losing Fevola didn’t hurt Carlton. The Blues were crying out for a key forward with half his ability for a couple of years after his departure. Having said that I highly doubt they regret letting him go.

        • Roar Guru

          September 4th 2013 @ 11:53am
          mastermind5991 said | September 4th 2013 @ 11:53am | ! Report

          Carlton had to let Fevola go for a reason, and that was due to his antics at the 2009 Brownlow Medal which was the final straw.

          Yes, Fev was a decorated player who won two Coleman Medals at Carlton but it was his off-field behaviour which made him famous. In my point of view, his departure from Carlton helped the club on the discipline front and I feel that they are now a much better team without him.

          • September 5th 2013 @ 1:22pm
            hawker said | September 5th 2013 @ 1:22pm | ! Report

            he won 2 coleman medals when carlton were a significantly worse team than they are now. Forget about the off field stuff this guy was a star.

    • September 4th 2013 @ 5:15pm
      Mango Jack said | September 4th 2013 @ 5:15pm | ! Report

      As a Sydney based Hawks fan, I don’t mind. As you say, they have proven they can win without him (and hopefully will again on Friday), and it means that a struggling club get a genuine superstar to lift their flagging profile and hopefully create on-field success. I might even go to a few Giants games just to watch him again.

      • September 4th 2013 @ 9:15pm
        Penster said | September 4th 2013 @ 9:15pm | ! Report

        What ^ said.

    • September 4th 2013 @ 8:41pm
      Penster said | September 4th 2013 @ 8:41pm | ! Report

      Quite Franklin my dear, I don’t give a damn.

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