Franklin feeling the pressure: Bateman - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Franklin feeling the pressure: Bateman

By Melissa Woods 01/06/2009 03:00:58 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn midfielder Chance Bateman says superstar teammate Lance Franklin is his own harshest critic and is feeling pressure to recapture last year's stunning form.

After a 27-point loss to Adelaide on Sunday the defending champions have slipped to five wins and five losses for the AFL season.

Franklin etched his name in the AFL elite in 2008 when he won the Coleman Medal after booting 102 goals in the home and away season, the first player to reach a ton in 10 years.

The 22-year-old still managed three goals at AAMI Stadium and leads his club tally with 34 for the season however Bateman said Franklin felt under pressure to repeat his stellar 2008.

"If you compare it to last year, I think you're going to be disappointed most years," Bateman said of his teammate.

"Last year was an outstanding year for him and I don't think there's been many full-forwards in the game who've been able to repeat that sort of effort.

"He definitely puts pressure on himself, he knows that he's pretty important to us and he likes to take that challenge on himself so he does get a bit disappointed in himself sometimes but that's part of being the player he is."

While Franklin may not be reaching the heights of round 11 last year against Essendon when he kicked nine for the match, Bateman said he was still an crucial contributor to the side.

"He's definitely played a role for us this year.

"Despite all the talk from outside circles he's been pretty good for us.

"He's still kicking a few goals for us and he's working really hard and that's probably the positive you can take out of it."

In some rare good news on the injury front, all players from the Adelaide match will be available to host Sydney at the MCG on Sunday.

Midfielder Bateman suffered a leg cramp against Adelaide defender while Campbell Brown had a corked leg but both were expected to be fit.

The Hawks are still in the eight despite their 5-5 win-loss record - one of seven clubs who have the same ratio.

Bateman said the side's inconsistency was their biggest concern.

"It's such an even competition this year, you've got Geelong and St Kilda up top who seem miles ahead of everyone else and there's a lot of teams on five and five and fortunately for us we're still in the eight," he said.

"We seem to put a couple of games together and then get a bit of momentum and then have a loss or lose another couple of players.

"It seems like we haven't got on a roll at all this season.

"I don't think this year we've put together four quarters, even when we've won we've dropped away in the third or fourth quarter."

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