Lance Franklin hasn’t given up hope of joining AFL’s exclusive 1000 goal club, as he strives to reach the 700 mark on Saturday against his former club Hawthorn in Sydney.
The Swans’ forward needs just two more majors at ANZ Stadium to get to 700 and is the most-prolific goalkicker currently playing, although he is 21st on the all-time list.
Only five players have kicked 1000 goals or more – Tony Lockett (1360), Gordon Coventry (1299), Jason Dunstall (1254), Doug Wade (1057) and Gary Ablett Snr (1030).
Asked if he had another 300 goals left in him, Franklin said “I hope so”.
Franklin still has seven seasons left on his contract after this year and won’t rule out someone getting to 1000 goals or surpassing Lockett’s record.
“It would be good, wouldn’t it? We’ll wait and see,” Franklin said.
He attributes the apparent demise of the 100-goal-a-season kicker to the modern trend towards developing a greater spread of goalkickers rather than just improving defence.
“You have your three or four guys that can kick 30 or 40 goals; there goes that 100 goalkicker out of the game,” said Franklin, the last man to reach the ton back in 2008.
“Sharing the load, that’s the way it’s going these days.”
Not that Franklin will be averse to some support against the Hawks, against whom he averages 2.2 goals a game, as opposed to his overall career mark of 3.2.
“It’s always tough to kick goals against the Hawks,” Franklin said.
“Last time I played them, I didn’t kick a goal, so fingers crossed I’ll be able to kick a couple this week. But, if not, there’s an even spread of goalkickers up forward.
“We’ve got ‘Goodesy’ (Adam Goodes) kicking a few goals and a few others too, so it’s all about getting other blokes involved in the game and kicking goals.”
He recalled the first of his 698 goals to date was kicked on the run in his second senior game against Richmond at the MCG in 2005, a week after he failed to post a major on debut against the Swans at the SCG.
A dual premiership winner with Hawthorn, Franklin said he still had a huge amount of respect for the club, who will move above third-placed Sydney if they beat them on Saturday.
“They’ve got so many superstars over the ground that they’ll be hard to shut down so we’ve got to be at our best,” Franklin said.
He has been in regular contact with former Hawks teammate Jarryd Roughead, who recently had surgery to remove a melanoma from his lip.
“I’ve been on the phone to him constantly to see how he is and how he’s tracking,” Franklin said.
“He’s been quite incredible really. He’s got some really good support around him to help him through this tough period.”
Franklin was philosophical about his one-game suspension earlier this month for a high bump on Richmond’s Shane Edwards.
“It was head-high contact and the AFL have said that any head-high contact, you’re going to miss weeks,” Franklin said.
“In the end, you make that split-second decision to not make head-high contact and you’ll be fine.”