Hawthorn enters their blockbuster clash with the Sydney Swans on ‘Buddy Watch’ with the former Hawk in ominous form.
Franklin may have kicked just one goal last weekend, but his impact on the match was unquestionable and Hawthorn Coach Alastair Clarkson says is fully aware of the threat the Swans forward presents.
“He only kicked one goal but the team kicked 14 or 15 and won convincing.
“He’s a very important player for them. He doesn’t have to have a dominant game in terms of scoreboard pressure to have a significant influence on the contest.
“My view is that he was the most influential player on the ground last week,” Clarkson said.
Franklin did not play as a traditional forward against Geelong last weekend and the manoeuvre certainly caught the Cats off guard.
The Swans quickly seized the advantage at Simonds Stadium and were untouched, winning comfortably.
Hawthorn currently sits atop of the AFL ladder, but a loss to the Swans would see them drop back amongst the chasing pack.
Despite their lofty position there have been question marks surrounding the Hawks form, but Clarkson says it’s not an important factor at this time of the season.
“It’s not about being in your absolute best form.
“Everyone in the media wants to declare a premiership favourite every week, and it’s great for the viewers and listeners and readers. But for those who are in the game, we couldn’t give a toss who is premiership favourite at this point in time”.