Sport AFL Buddy ‘business as usual’ for Hawks showdown

Buddy ‘business as usual’ for Hawks showdown

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It’s business as usual for Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin, according to Sydney Swans assistant coach Stuart Dew ahead of Saturday night’s AFL blockbuster.

The Swans flew into Melbourne on Friday afternoon ahead of Franklin’s first clash with his former side Hawthorn at the MCG.

Despite his shock departure to Sydney at the end of last season, Franklin still had plenty of fans at the airport requesting photos and autographs.

Dew said Franklin’s demeanour and preparation hadn’t changed during the build-up.

“He’s been really good and he’s ready to go,” he said.

“It doesn’t faze him, his first game against Hawthorn in Melbourne.

“He played against them last time (in Sydney) so it’s just another game.”

The competition-leading Swans are gunning for a club record 13 successive wins but Dew says the record hasn’t really been discussed by the team.

“We’re day to day and game to game but I’m sure the supporters are probably happy that we keep winning.

“We are too but we’re ticking them off on the chalkboard.”

He didn’t fear the form of the team wavering at the pointy end of the season, saying the players were strong on challenging each other to continue to perform.

Dew also has roots in Hawthorn as a member of their 2008 premiership side alongside Franklin before his retirement a year later.

Hawks key forward Jarryd Roughead, who also played in that match, brings up 200 AFL games with the Sydney clash.

Dew said he still had plenty of admiration for his former teammate.

“I’m a bit biased on Roughy – I think he’s a superstar.

“I think he’s underrated because he’s one of the best players in the comp and he’s still only young.

“I hope he plays OK but not too well because we’ll have our hands full with him.”