Shock AFL All-Australian captain Lance Franklin is a certain starter for Sydney’s elimination final as he tries to put his injury frustrations behind him.
— AFL.com.au (@AFLcomau) August 29, 2018
Franklin finished fourth in the Coleman Medal with 57 goals but he has struggled with injuries this season and missed the round-23 loss to Hawthorn with a groin problem.
But the All-Australian centre half-back declared he would be ready for the sudden-death final on Saturday week against Sydney.
“I will be right to go – I obviously had a sore groin,” he said.
— FOX FOOTY LIVE (@FOXFootyLive) August 29, 2018
“But it’s recovered really well and I’m looking forward to the contest.
“Prior to the GWS game (round 22), I’d spent three weeks on the track and there’s no doubt that actually helped, getting out there and being a part of it.
“It’s been a frustrating year, to not be a part of the group and run around with the boys.
“As Horse (coach John Longmire) said, I only trained for 20 minutes for the whole season, up until the last couple of weeks, so it’s been a frustrating year in terms of getting out on the track.”
— SuperFooty (AFL) (@superfooty) August 29, 2018
On Wednesday night, there was no frustration and plenty of surprise for Franklin when he was named the All-Australian captain at the 2018 AFL All Australian Awards in Melbourne.
He has never been captain at Hawthorn or Sydney, but continues to make a massive mark.
This is his eighth All-Australian selection and only four other players – Robert Harvey, Gary Ablett Sr, Gary Ablett Jr and Mark Ricciuto – have had that many selections in the league’s post-carnival era.
“It’s humbling, it really is,” he said;
“To get those accolades, you obviously have to work bloody hard and over my career, I feel like I’ve worked hard to become the player I’ve wanted to become.”
There was plenty of attention on Franklin at the function and he did not disappoint, providing the quote of the evening.
Asked what he would tell his All-Australian teammates if they had a pre-game huddle, Franklin cheekily said: “Kick it to me.”