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Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin commits to Sydney for 2023 season

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Legendary Sydney forward Lance Franklin has ended speculation about his playing future after committing to the Swans for next season just days out from playing in the AFL grand final.

Franklin, out of contract at the end of the season after completing a monster nine-year deal he signed to switch from Hawthorn for 2014, has inked a one-year extension to stay in Sydney.

The Swans announced the deal via social media in a cryptic fashion, releasing a statement that Franklin had said “one more” in relation to his plans for 2023.

It means he will add to his amazing legacy, having already kicked 1047 goals to sit fifth on the all-time VFL/AFL goalkicking list.

The 35-year-old has been the subject of much speculation about his future with Brisbane flagged as a possible 2023 destination if he decided to play on.

Franklin’s signing is a massive boost for the Swans as they prepare to take on Geelong in the 2022 AFL decider at the MCG on Saturday.

He could hardly have been more impressive in their thrilling one-point win against Collingwood in Saturday’s preliminary final, kicking two goals to go with 13 disposals and seven marks.

The vintage display drew high praise from Sydney coach John Longmire.

“He was very good, particularly early he was winning contest after contest and he was chasing,” Longmire told reporters.

“He was up and going the big ‘Bud’, he was charging around and I thought he gave us a lot of energy.

“He won some important contests, particularly in that first half he was able to win some 50-50 ball and I just thought some of the pressure stuff that he applied early on in the game was excellent as well.”

It’s already been a memorable year for Franklin, his 52-goal campaign helping him pass the 1000 career goal mark against Geelong in round two.

He has well and truly delivered on his long-term contract at the Swans, winning the club’s goal-kicking award six times along with two Coleman Medals and four All-Australian appearances.

Franklin played 182 games for Hawthorn after making his AFL debut for the Hawks in 2005.

He was a member of Hawthorn’s premiership-winning teams in 2008 and 2013.

Franklin has played 158 games for Sydney.

-AAP

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