McLachlan yet to speak to Franklin

AFL boss Gillon McLachlan says he is yet to speak to Lance Franklin, who is receiving treatment for a serious mental health issue and will not play in Saturday’s qualifying final against Fremantle.

But McLachlan says he is confident Franklin is receiving the support he needs.

“He knows he has the industry’s support and my support for what that’s worth and that if he wants to talk he can,” McLachlan told Radio 3AW on Friday.

“I don’t think it’s right for me to call him direct, if he wants to talk he knows I’m available.”

McLachlan said the AFL clubs were doing their best to deal with the ever-increasing pressure on players, although there was always room for improvement.

“Every year that goes past in our society, the pressure on everyone gets greater,” he said.

“I don’t think our players are immune to that.

“We’re working with our industry, the clubs, to make sure they are dealing with the pressures that exist as footballers.

“The players have full-time welfare officers, they have club psychologists, they have clubs who are increasingly good at recognising and understanding that … they’ve got great cultures in these clubs.

“We’ve got work to do and we can do better but in general terms (the players) are in good environments.”

It was also revealed earlier this week Franklin had suffered a mild epileptic seizure the day before playing in last Saturday’s win over Gold Coast at the SCG.

McLachlan refused to speculate on whether Franklin should have played.

“The primacy of the club doctor in these decision is clear,” he said.

“They know the players best, they know their issues, they have a long history with them and that’s all I want to say on the matter.”

It is unclear whether Franklin will return this year.

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