Lance Franklin returns early to training to do some post injury running at the Sydney Swans first pre season training session for 2-6 year players. Picture. Phil Hillyard
Lance Franklin returns early to training to do some post injury running at the Sydney Swans first pre season training session for 2-6 year players. Picture. Phil Hillyard

Blakey: Be afraid, AFL, be Buddy afraid

"SCARY" is Nick Blakey's assessment of the impact Lance Franklin can have in 2020 - and that's after barely a week on the training track.

The bulk of the Swans' senior squad is not due back until next Monday, but Franklin is already getting the kilometres into his legs, having reported back a fortnight early.

For now, he is continuing to follow his individual training program but Blakey says a combination of hitting the ground running and a desire to put last year's individual and team disappointments behind him, means Franklin has the bit between his teeth.

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Franklin managed just 10 games last season, hampered by a lack of pre-season and hamstring problems.

But he finished on a high, chalking up his 300th AFL game in the Swans' last game of the season.

And ahead of that milestone clash with St Kilda, Franklin said he had "no doubt" he could get back to his best in 2020 with 350 games the next individual target to chase.

Blakey, who Franklin has described as a 'special' player, sees a man on a mission.

With the likes of Jarrad McVeigh, Heath Grundy, Nick Smith and Kieren Jack having called time on their playing careers at the end of last season, Franklin is now the most senior figure in the playing group.

"Everyone was disappointed with how we finished up last season," Blakey said.

"And there was no one more disappointed than Bud.

Nick Blakey says he can’t wait to run out alongside Lance Franklin in 2020. Picture: AAP
Nick Blakey says he can’t wait to run out alongside Lance Franklin in 2020. Picture: AAP

"He's probably the oldest player at our club now and he's come back and started training with all the first to five year players. It really shows how much the club means to him.

"He's going to be scary to play with this year and scary for the competition.

"He's going to have has first pre-season in how long as well. He'll be back to his best, no doubt."

Blakey, who bagged 19 goals in 21 appearances in his first campaign for the Swans last season, is happy to put in the hard yards in the heat. The new season may be a long way off still but the 19-year-old cannot wait.

"It has been tough (training)," he said.

"But everyone has come back in incredible nick and has hit the ground running.

"We're a young side and excited about what's ahead. Everyone's going to be putting their hands up for selection and our list is looking really strong."

News Corp Australia


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