Sydney AFL coach Paul Roos believes the “formidable and phenomenal” Hawthorn duo of Lance Franklin and Jarryd Roughead will one day rate alongside the Hawks’ legendary forward combination of Jason Dunstall and Dermott Brereton.
Franklin and Roughead, who contributed almost 200 goals between them in the Hawks’ charge to the 2008 premiership flag, combined for nine majors in their team’s first-up loss to Geelong.
As a partnership, Franklin and Roughead who were born one week apart in January 1987 and were both drafted in 2004, still have a long way to go to catch Dunstall and Brereton who kicked 1,681 goals between them for Hawthorn.
Roos, one of the all-time great centre half-backs, believed football historians would look kindly on the Hawks’ latest key forward duo once their careers were over.
“Roughead and Franklin are still young but I would suggest at the end of their careers you are going to be looking back at a combination of two pretty good forwards,” Roos said on Monday ahead of the Swans’ home clash against Hawthorn on Saturday.
“… Dunstall and Brereton obviously, (and North Melbourne duo John) Longmire and (Wayne) Carey were a good combination, but I think Roughead and Franklin are going to stack up really really favourably once their careers are finished.
“I think when we look back in 10 years time or however long they are going to play for, they are going to be a pretty phenomenal, formidable pair in the history of the game.”
Roos even cheekily suggested Sydney should use Franklin rather than his own team to promote Saturday’s game at ANZ Stadium.
“If you don’t rate the Swannies, watch Buddy Franklin come and play, he’s an absolute star, if you want a night of excitement come and have a look at him play,” Roos said.
Roos reiterated he was looking for a more concerted effort from his side after they were held goalless by St Kilda in the two middle quarters last Saturday.
He rated their first quarter performance and some of the final term as “some of the best footy we’ve played for two or three years”.
But he said some of his players did not appear ready for the raised intensity of the first round following the pre-season.
Midfielder Luke Ablett, who was a late withdrawal from Saturday’s side following the death of a cousin, could return this weekend.
And the coach had another droll response for those critics who believed the Swans faced a long hard year after their season opener.
“I got a text from (St Kilda coach) Rossy (Lyon) after the game `21 of these to go’ so it doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, it’s a bloody long year, I can tell you that,” Roos said.