Franklin caps off a big year - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Franklin caps off a big year

By Roger Vaughan 27/09/2008 07:46:58 PM Comments (0)

Young Hawthorn star Lance Franklin capped off his remarkable AFL season with the prize that mattered most.

In a season where he won the Coleman Medal as the league's top goalkicker and scored his first All-Australian selection as a result, Franklin only kicked two goals in Saturday's 26-point grand final win over Geelong at the MCG.

But it mattered little to Franklin, who became the first player in a decade to kick 100 goals during the regular season.

"I couldn't care less if I didn't kick a goal, just as long we got over the line," a beaming Franklin said in the chaotic Hawks rooms after the game.

The cheers were loudest among the Hawks fans in the changerooms when "Buddy" emerged and he reciprocated with a big "whoop".

Franklin confirmed he had precautionary scans on his injured thumb this week, after aggravating an existing injury in the preliminary final win over St Kilda.

Opponent Matthew Scarlett then collected him with a solid hit in the opening quarter and the Cats defence made sure Franklin and fellow tall forward Jarryd Roughead were kept in check.

But Franklin kicked a goal in the third term and his second at 12 minutes into the final quarter helped kill off any thought of an unlikely Cats comeback.

"It was obviously a good hit by 'Scarlo', it stung me a little bit, but I got over it and worked my way into the game," he said.

"I've had thumb problems earlier in the season - (the scan) was just to look at it and see how it was.

"In the (preliminary final) against St Kilda, my first three contests, I got hit in the hand.

"So it was just a precautionary check-up on the thumb - but that's the least of my worries, we got up and won."

The low return against Scarlett came after only one goal against Saints key defender Max Hudghton and Franklin paid tribute to the two backmen.

"He and Hudghton are the best defenders in the league," Franklin said.

Franklin's father Lance Snr was in the rooms post-match and, like his son, towered above everyone.

"It was good - it's a team game, isn't it? He played the team game and they won," Franklin Snr said.

"I'm very proud, my whole family is proud of him."

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