Hawks coach downplays Franklin goal ton - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks coach downplays Franklin goal ton

By Melissa Woods 29/08/2008 01:49:01 PM Comments (0)

Alastair Clarkson says he hasn't even spoken to Lance Franklin about the likelihood of him kicking the ton against Carlton on Saturday night, with the coach seeing it as a distraction to Hawthorn's build-up to the AFL finals.

A big crowd is expected at Telstra Dome as Franklin is poised to become the first indigenous player and the first footballer since Tony Lockett in 1998 to kick 100 goals in a home and away season, needing only two against the Blues.

Carlton's Brendan Fevola is eight shy of triple figures, adding spark to an otherwise dead rubber final-round encounter.

But a business-like Clarkson was more focused on the second-placed side Hawks producing their best in the build-up to the finals than any individual achievement.

"It's only natural that the sooner it's out of the way the sooner it becomes less of a distraction for our side and for the wider football community," he said.

"It's not something that we're really focusing on, in terms of the 100 goals, we're more interested in getting our structures right and playing good footy leading into the finals.

"Our focus is all about making sure we're in the best possible nick we can be to go as deep as we can in September."

Essendon champion Matthew Lloyd admitted that as he approached his 100-goal haul in 2000, achieved during the finals, he flew to Sydney to talk to Lockett about how to handle the event.

But Clarkson said Franklin hadn't sought any expert advice, nor had the pair even discussed the milestone.

"It's just all systems go in terms of the structure of our side and the manner we go about it and that hasn't been part of his routine all year and it's certainly not going to be part of his routine leading into this week's game," he said.

"If he only kicks one but our team kicks 15 or 20 goals and we win the game then we're not too fussed with that.

"It's a hysterical theme outside our footy club but within our footy club it's just sticking to the structure of what we do well."

Despite the outcome of the match having little impact on the finals make-up, Clarkson said he expected both teams to come out firing.

"It has got significance for us and I think it's got significance for Carlton too, they'd like to finish the season on a good note so I expect them to be going hard from go to whoa.

"We want to get some momentum leading into the finals.

"It's not the be-all and end-all but certainly winning form's good form."

Hawthorn veteran Shane Crawford was rested from the line-up but Clarkson said he could have played if necessary, as was the case with ruckman Simon Taylor.

"The rest will do (Crawford) the world of good, he's played four on-end and he's got through those games really well and played well enough to convince us he can have an impact in the finals.

"We think a fresh Shane Crawford in the first week of the finals will be really good for our club."

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