Buddy Franklin Officially Signs With The Sydney Swans For Another Year
Photo by Cameron Spencer/AFL Photos/via Getty Images
— 20 September 2022

Buddy Franklin Officially Signs With The Sydney Swans For Another Year

— 20 September 2022
Billy Booker
Billy Booker

Lance “Buddy” Franklin, the most decorated and celebrated AFL forward of the 21st century, has signed a one-year deal to remain with the Sydney Swans in 2023 – a welcome shock to footy fans across the country.

Buddy, who had fielded offers from at least one other club this winter, recently stated he would not be making a decision on his future until after the season. For an announcement of this magnitude to come in Grand Final week is also extremely rare, as it could be viewed as a distraction. Lastly, the Swans released it on their social channels as Queen Elizabeth’s funeral began in London. Buddy’s timing, as ever, impeccable.

Whether deliberate or coincidence, it came across as the ultimate flex from Buddy, who turns 36 in January and will be the oldest player in the AFL next year following David Mundy’s retirement at Fremantle. In a small pocket of the world, Sydney’s announcement briefly trumped the lavish events at Westminster Abbey.

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Initially, fans were stumped by Sydney’s tweet, which simply said “one more.” There was confusion whether this meant one more game – this Saturday’s Grand Final – or one more year. Thankfully, it was later revealed to be the latter, meaning Buddy’s career will stretch into an 18th season. He’ll also enter 2023 nine games shy of the 350-milestone. In AFL history there have been just three Indigenous Australians to play more games than Franklin:

  • Eddie Betts (350)
  • Adam Goodes (372)
  • Shaun Burgoyne (407)

Another season also pulls him to within touching distance of Doug Wade, who is the fourth greatest goal kicker in AFL history. Although he’d probably have to play for another two seasons at the very least to catch Jason Dunstall in third.

At one stage a few weeks ago, Franklin appeared likely to either retire or search for a third club due to a reported impasse regarding his contract for 2023. Brisbane was one club which openly said they’d been interested in talking if the superstar was keen to explore moving to Queensland. It was embarrassingly misreported in early August Franklin had told Sydney he wanted to play for the Lions next year.

While this certainly answers one key question ahead of this weekend’s Grand Final – Buddy’s sixth in total and third for Sydney – it’ll have minimal impact on the result of the match. Geelong are warm favourites though Franklin will take confidence from his four-goal haul against them in Round 2.

Lance “Buddy” Franklin signed a $10 million / nine-year deal with the Sydney Swans at the end of 2013, blindsiding the entire football industry. It has been long-debated whether his move could be considered a success without a premiership to show for it. This Saturday he has an opportunity to settle said debate once and for all.

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Billy Booker


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