Sydney Swans player Lance Franklin takes part in a open training session and fan day at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Sydney Swans player Lance Franklin takes part in a open training session and fan day at the Sydney Cricket Ground. DAN HIMBRECHTS

Franklin doesn't need to 'justify' price tag, says Longmire

AFL: Sydney coach John Longmire has bristled at the suggestion Lance Franklin needs to justify his $10 million contract by leading the Swans to a premiership.

The superstar forward settled on the Swans over the Giants when deciding to move north in 2013 due to their potential to win flags.

However, Longmire said there was no extra pressure on the 29-year-old to deliver in Saturday's grand final against the Western Bulldogs because of his hefty price tag.

"There's no team that would ever think that and no team ever will, and certainly not the Sydney Swans,” Longmire said.

"He was recruited because we knew we were going through a transition phase as far as some older players going out the door, some stars of the past and some younger players coming through.

"We thought he could help us be competitive and I think he's certainly helped us be competitive.

"He was really keen to come to Sydney and they're the reasons why. It (Franklin's presence) gives us a chance but we know it's about a full team effort, the full 22 this week.”

Franklin played in three grand finals at Hawthorn for two wins (2008, 2013) and one loss (2012), which came against the Swans. He then played in another losing premiership decider in 2014 with the Swans against the Hawks.

"He's been terrific this year. Not only his performances but his training - he's been so consistent and leading our young forward line around,” Longmire said.

"Being able to contribute both on the field but also off the field with our group has been highly valuable and it's been great to have him playing.

"He'll talk to the players as required, and who needs to be spoken to, or who might want to draw on those experiences, but he gets that message across in his own way.

"It's important younger players feel very comfortable talking to him and I'm sure he'll share those experiences.

"He knows his footy. He loves footy, he really watches a lot and knows football really well and for a lot of players, talented players in particular, that may not be the case always.

"But he's one of those blokes who has talent and he works really hard ... but he also knows his football and that's what he brings for the younger players.”


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