Sydney coach John Longmire says Lance Franklin is buying into the Swans’ team-first culture as the superstar starts pre-season training with his new AFL club.
Since his extraordinary nine-year, $10 million move to Sydney was confirmed in October, Franklin has rarely been out of the media spotlight but Longmire said the former Hawthorn full-forward knew it was now time to knuckle down and prepare for the season ahead.
There were fears the high profile Franklin could struggle to fit into the Swans’ famous Bloods culture, which emphasises a selfless approach and has helped sustain their status as an AFL superpower over the last decade.
But Longmire insisted that was not the case.
“We have had no problem with him settling into the group,” Longmire said on Monday as Franklin and other senior players joined pre-season training.
“Now he is into the full swing of training he will have a real solid hitout for the next couple of weeks and prepare well for next season.
“Buddy is like every other player here. There are expectations on every player on our list to prepare well and train well on and off the field.
“Like every other player he has had his off season and now it is time to get to work.
“We are happy with how he is going so far.
“There is obviously more scrutiny on Buddy and he understands that and we understand that.
“He has turned up today and run hard and prepared well and we expect that to continue.
“It doesn’t matter if you are Buddy Franklin or (draftee) Zak Jones you are expected to prepare well on and off the field.
“There is no different preparation for next season because Buddy is here.
“There’s no reason to get away from hard work.”
Franklin has emerged as a trump card in the Swans’ battle for hearts and minds in Sydney and Longmire said the club were prepared for the spotlight that is sure to shine on the 2013 premiership winner in his seasons ahead in the red and white.
“He has accepted the fact he is going to have more attention on him, we know that and he knows that,” Longmire said.
“There might not be a media conference this year when I’m not asked about him but that is just the reality of it.
“He has a high profile and that is part of what life has to be.
“He is obviously a wonderful player and we are looking forward to seeing what he can do on the training field and I know the boys are looking forward to playing with him next season.