As Lance Franklin continues to feel his way with his new club, his former line coach Adam Simpson has lent his support to the way the superstar spearhead goes about his work.
Franklin, who faced criticism after his first two games with Sydney produced few highlights and only two goals, shouldn’t be judged by his goal tally but by his work rate, said the West Coast coach, who was in charge of Hawthorn’s forward line last year.
The Hawks, with Simpson steering the forward structure, focused on developing a wider spread of goalkickers, which paid off with a premiership and is again reaping dividends in 2014.
“Part of my job was to get everyone in the forward line to embrace that, and that there had to be selfless acts, and to Buddy’s credit, he took it to the nth degree in the finals series,” said Simpson.
“He just did so many sacrificial things that went unnoticed. For someone who gets judged on goals, he did a lot of things for the team. Even in the grand final [in which Franklin kicked one goal], I’ve got no doubt what Buddy did was a big part of the reason that got Jack Gunston four goals.
“Those are the sorts of things that people within a club know about and respect.”
Franklin, as he did in his final year at Hawthorn, has worked further up the ground with the Swans. But he was a lot more prolific for the Swans in more material terms as well in last week’s win over Adelaide, finishing the game with 20 disposals, six marks and four goals for an aggregate of seven from his three games to date.