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Buddy Franklin’s 5 Best Moments with the Hawks

Lance “Buddy” Franklin.

It didn’t take long for the skinny boy from Western Australia to become a household name after being drafted by Hawthorn with pick 5 in the 2004 AFL Draft.

Franklin has become one of the most prolific goal scorers in AFL history, and his journey has been anything but boring.

‘Buddy’ is one of very few players where you hold your breath every time the ball bounces near them because you know something special might happen. His left foot is something to behold, kicking goals from all sorts of places in a myriad of ways.

The proud Noongar-Whadjuk man has done it all, winning two premierships, four Coleman medals, and eight All Australian honours.

At the end of the 2013 AFL season, Franklin left the Hawks and signed the biggest contract in the game’s history to join the Sydney Swans.

Recently, the now Sydney Swans superstar kicked his 950th goal which is the seventh most in AFL/VFL history.

With this in mind, bring on the nostalgia, and let’s go back to where Lance Franklin made his name.

Here are Buddy’s top five moments at the Hawthorn Hawks, in chronological order.

1. Buddy Kicks His 100th Goal of the 2008 season

To this day, Buddy is still the last player to ever kick over 100 goals in a regular season.

Entering the final round of the 2008 season, Lance Franklin was sitting on 98 goals. Hawthorn was playing Carlton at the Telstra Dome in Melbourne, and the scene was set for Hawthorn’s golden boy.

With 5 minutes left in the first quarter, Franklin kicked his first goal of the match, taking him to 99 goals.

Approaching quarter time, the ball came forward again and Buddy took a mark 30m out on a slight angle. We know what happens next. That left foot kicked the ball with a familiar shape and sent the crowd into raptures.

Fans flooded onto the oval and surrounded a 21-year-old Buddy before he was eventually ushered to the change rooms as a precaution.

Funnily enough, it took eight and a half minutes after the stampede for the fans to clear and play to resume.


2. Winning the 2008 Premiership

The major goal for every player is to win a flag. You dream of it from the moment you lace up your first pair of boots.

It took Buddy 4 seasons to reach the pinnacle of Australian Rules Football. Franklin capped off a magnificent individual season in 2008 by winning the AFL premiership for the first time.

Hawthorn beat Geelong by 26 points in what was a fairly big upset.

It takes a big performance for a player to be pointed out by his teammates as their best and brightest. But, in the words of his premiership teammate Shane Crawford, “He for me was the reason we won the grand final”.

Franklin played an unselfish role, almost sacrificing himself for the benefit of the team. Buddy still kicked 2 trademark goals.


3. 2010 AFL goal of the year

With 14 minutes to go in the final quarter of a match, an AFL athlete’s stamina and ability are really put to the test.

To be able to run at full pace down the boundary line, bouncing the ball with a player on your tail, and slot a goal from the pocket. Only the best can pull that off. It’s a goal that is actually unbelievable.

Buddy has now kicked 950 goals, many of them brilliant.

This one though is considered by many to be his very best and deservedly won goal of the year in 2010.

It’s a goal his opponent Cale Hooker likely still has nightmares about.


4. 13 goals vs North Melbourne, Round 10, 2012

To kick 3 goals in a game is an accomplishment. To kick more than 5 is impressive. To kick 10 is insane.

But to kick 13 goals? That is absolutely ruthless.

In one of the most memorable individual performances in recent memory, Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin had a field day at Hawthorn’s ‘home away from home’ in Launceston, Tasmania.

It’s a haul that shows Buddy’s versatility and overall prowess.

His athleticism is unrivaled. Speed, power, nous, and a raking left leg. These are the traits that have set him apart and made him one of the modern-day greats.


5. Winning the 2013 Premiership

Most players in their career will never win one grand final, Lance Franklin has won two.

When Buddy shows his kids what an AFL Premiership medal looks like, he has two to choose from thanks to the Hawks’ 2013 heroics.

Hawthorn defeated Fremantle by 15 points.

The forward was fairly quiet in the grand final but still managed 18 disposals and a goal.

It would be Buddy’s last game for Hawthorn, finishing on the best note possible.

A week after lifting the trophy with the Hawks, Buddy became a Swan.

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