Hawks' Brown defends Franklin's form - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks' Brown defends Franklin's form

By Melissa Woods 12/04/2010 04:05:07 PM Comments (0)

Senior Hawthorn player Campbell Brown has defended his star teammate Lance Franklin as he struggles to find goal-kicking form.

The 2008 Coleman Medal winner has managed only two goals from two AFL matches so far this season, after missing the Hawks' opener through suspension.

During Sunday's 16-point loss to the Western Bulldogs, Franklin was kept goalless for only the third time since mid-2006 and took just one mark.

Even the Hawks' faithful appeared to be getting restless, with some sections jeering Franklin late in the game because of a perceived lack of input.

Brown said the match-winning forward was working as hard as he could to fulfil lofty expectations.

"I think the media and the fans put so much emphasis on stats and things like that, whereas he laid five tackles, which from a big man, was a pretty good effort," Brown said.

"And the contribution he made in the ruck, which is not something that's very familiar to him, as a team we thought he was pretty solid.

"Without kicking those goals and the things that we like to see, I thought his performance was still pretty solid.

"He's working really hard and while he's working hard, I'm sure that his hands and his goals will end up coming."

In some good news for the injury-struck Hawks, big-name recruit Shaun Burgoyne is set to play this week, possibly in their AFL clash with Collingwood at the MCG on Saturday night.

Since his switch from Port Adelaide, Burgoyne has battled knee and hamstring injuries but Brown said he was ready to line up either in the senior side or for VFL team Box Hill.

"It's exciting, he'll definitely be in the mix," he said, adding that the Hawks had dubbed Burgoyne "Silk" because of his silky skills.

"It's been hard for him having to sit out, I'm sure he wants to prove himself. It will be good to have him running around."

Brown said Clinton Young would also be in senior contention, while fellow midfielder Brad Sewell was a week away from returning from a collarbone injury.

Former North Melbourne defender Josh Gibson, awaiting results of a scan on his injured hamstring, is expected to be sidelined for some weeks.

But midfielder Jordan Lewis should face the Magpies at the MCG on Saturday night despite being stretchered off after suffering a heavy head knock in a collision with Bulldog Jarrod Harbrow on Sunday.

Brown described the hit as the hardest he'd seen.

"I was right there for the contact and it was huge, a very courageous act.

"It was great to see him eventually come back on and I spoke to him today and he's feeling pretty good."

He said Lewis' courage inspired teammates.

"When players are going to be that committed to the cause of playing for Hawthorn and winning games, we know we're going to win more than we lose."

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