Buddy Franklin a step closer to return
THE Swans will be desperate to have Lance Franklin's new-found goalkicking accuracy when they take on his old team Hawthorn at the MCG on Friday night.
With Franklin still nursing his bruised heel on Saturday night against North Melbourne, Sydney slumped to its worst goalkicking performance of the year shooting at just 33 per cent (ranked 17th in the AFL).
Since late last year Buddy's much straighter run-up and leg action has produced a career-best return of 62 per cent.
Before he gets ball in hand he will need to prove his fitness on the training track after missing the last two games with the troublesome heel injury he picked up on the rock-hard Perth Stadium in Round 1.
"The foot is OK," Franklin said.
"I had a run around last week. I'll train this week and see how we go."
Franklin teamed up with three young indigenous boys Josh Arnolda, Jordan Endemann and Brodi Williams to show off Sydney's brand new "Black Swan" guernsey but he will have to wait for a few more weeks before he gets to wear it in public when the Swans and Carlton kick off Indigenous Round with the Marngrook game at the SCG on Friday June 1.
"When I first saw the jumper I absolutely loved it," Franklin said.
"The black swan grabs your eye right away, it's really strong and symbolises a lot. Indigenous Round is my favourite of the year. It's a special round for our people, it symbolises exactly what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island players bring to the game, all the boys love playing in that round and we get to kick it off on Friday night football which is the biggest stage."
Franklin follows a long line of champion indigenous players to line up for the Swans including Adam Goodes, Michael O'Loughlin, Derek Kickett and Don Keyter (South Melbourne).
"The Marngrook game is bloody special," Franklin said.
"Goodsey and Micky O are legends of our club and the AFL. To have them as leaders for a long time is amazing. I'm glad I can follow in their footsteps."
The previous Swans Indigenous guernsey was designed by Goodes' mum Lisa May. The new one has been designed by noted artist Cheryl Davidson.
"To see Lance and all the fellas run out with my design on their guernsey's will be such an honour for me and all my family, my community and all the aboriginal people in Australia," Davidson said.
"The players inspire young people to do better in their lives, to be the best they can at everything they do, their work and their education. I'm also proud to be representing the south coast people and the Yuin people, the black duck people our country is from Sydney down to the Victorian border."