AFL: Sydney star Buddy Franklin is likely to draw the attention of Match Review Officer Michael Christiansen after the Swans forward committed two undisciplined acts against t…
AFL: Sydney star Buddy Franklin is likely to draw the attention of Match Review Officer Michael Christiansen after the Swans forward committed two undisciplined acts against the Fremantle Dockers.
The Sydney Swans have decided to challenge superstar forward Buddy Franklin’s one-match suspension for striking Fremantle’s Luke Ryan during their match on Sunday.
Franklin’s pursuit of the 1000-goal milestone was halted temporarily when he was given a one-match ban for hitting the Dockers defender with his elbow.
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The incident took place in the third quarter of the Swans’ 40-point win over Fremantle at Metricon Stadium and was assessed as careless, medium impact and high contact by AFL match review officer Michael Christian.
The AFL is still deciding if Franklin’s tribunal hearing will take place on Tuesday or Wednesday night.
If his challenge is unsuccessful, the spearhead forward will miss Sydney’s match with Essendon this weekend, which would come as major relief to Bombers fans.
Throughout his illustrious career, Franklin has kicked more goals against Essendon (73) than any other club he has faced, including two eight-goal hauls and a bag of nine.
Another factor to consider in the challenge is that time is running out for the 34-year-old to reach the prestigious 1000-goal milestone this season.
As it stands, Franklin has kicked 983 career goals, and needs just 17 goals to become only the sixth player in VFL/AFL history to crack the millennium, along with Tony Lockett, Gordon Coventry, Jason Dunstall, Doug Wade and Gary Ablett senior.
If he is ruled out of the game with Essendon, that would leave Franklin only four home and away games and any finals appearances to achieve the rare feat.
He would face the tough task of having to average around four goals per game for the remainder of the season to surpass 1000.
Earlier on Tuesday, Sydney assistant coach Jarryd McVeigh appeared unsure if the Swans would challenge Franklin’s suspension.
“I’m not sure if they’re going to challenge,” he told SEN Radio.
McVeigh seemed to suggest the Swans believed they had a chance of overturning the one-match ban, referencing similar incidents this season from West Coast’s Luke Shuey and Richmond’s David Astubury, who both escaped suspension.
“We saw the Shuey incident with Millsy and Astbury from Richmond,” he said.
“So I’m sure they’ll look at that, and if they do challenge we hope he gets off.”
Sydney are likely to use those precedents as an argument to challenge Franklin’s ban.
“Obviously there’s some incidents earlier this year that will come into play, as well, that we’ll consider,” Swans coach John Longmire said on Tuesday.