The Telling Sign Lance Franklin Could LEAVE the Swans if He Goes Missing on a Major Announcement
Buddy Franklin did not appear to show up to the announcement of his emotional retirement from teammate Josh Kennedy as there is growing speculation that he will leave the club at the end of the season.
Teammates gathered around Kennedy as he was moved to tears describing his “incredible journey” in footy, with many rushing to hug him after his heartwarming speech.
Franklin, however, was not one of them.
Lance Franklin celebrates one of his four goals against the Kangaroos on Sunday
His apparent absence from what was a significant moment for the loyal 290-game club came a day after he was flogged by outspoken pundit Kane Cornes for his ‘me, me, me’ approach to contract negotiations.
An extensive search for footage of the announcement and a deep dive through news and social media trying to find reasons why Franklin might not be attending turned up nothing.
Lance Franklin and wife Jesinta, who have two children, consider leaving Sydney to be closer to their families
Franklin released a statement on Saturday, ahead of his side’s clash with the Kangaroos on Sunday – which they duly won by 38 points after Franklin kicked four goals.
“At this stage, talks about my contract have been put on hold so that I can fully concentrate on playing football,” he said in a statement from manager Adam Finch.
No further comment will be made until the season is over and I have made a decision about my future.
“I’m not done yet and need time after the season to make a decision about whether to continue playing next year,” Franklin said in the statement.
Cornes broke the timing of the announcement, which was made as the Swans traveled to Melbourne for the game.
“It was a very ‘me, me, me’ thing to do, I thought, from Buddy Franklin, when the Sydney Swans fly,” he told Channel 9.
“I’m not sure if you have to release a statement before the match. What was the point of Buddy doing that?
“It didn’t soften anything of the conversation… it made the conversation even worse,” Cornes said of the contract conversation.
Lance Franklin hits the target in Swans’ 38-point win over the Kangaroos on Sunday afternoon in Melbourne
It came after intense speculation that Franklin will leave Sydney at the end of the season, after the club reportedly gave him ‘low ball’ with a contract offer worth just $500,000 a year.
The 35-year-old is on a $10 million nine-year contract since his highly publicized move from Hawthorn.
Strong rumors have linked the two-time premiership player with Brisbane, with Franklin’s wife Jesinta reportedly eager to get closer to her family.
The couple have a son, Rocky, and a daughter, Tullulah.
Lance and Jesinta Franklin are reportedly considering moving out of Sydney, with Lance’s contract expiring at the end of the season
The constant speculation about whether Franklin will be at the club next year or not has overshadowed the news that Kennedy will be retiring at the end of the season.
The three-time All Australian and 2012 premiership player has made 276 appearances for the Swans having previously been called up as a father-son recruit by Hawthorn, where he played 13 games.
He also finished third in the 2017 Brownlow Medal and has been one of the AFL’s most contested midfielders over the past decade.
Josh Kennedy with wife Ana and children Emilio and Isabella at Tuesday’s retirement announcement on the SCG
Kennedy was overcome with emotion when he told his teammates that he was retiring, so much so that his son asked, “Are you okay, Dad?” to the delight of the crowd.
’13 years ago when I showed up (at the Swans after moving out of Hawthorn)…at the downstairs reception I could tell I had landed somewhere very special. Thanks everyone,” Kennedy said, his eyes filled with tears.
The 34-year-old made the decision last week, just days later after injuring his left hamstring while playing in the VFL.
Kennedy missed eight weeks earlier this season after tearing his right hamstring, and even the man himself isn’t sure if he’ll be able to play another game for the Swans, who are expected to have a decent crack in the final.
Josh Kennedy announced his retirement from the AFL at a press conference on Tuesday
“It’s a hope, not an expectation,” Kennedy said at the press conference when asked if he could play again this year.
“If it doesn’t happen, nothing will change. I have nothing but love and admiration for the football club.
“I am very happy with where I am now. In any case, I’d love to close out the year and train and be a part of it that way,” Kennedy said.
The Swans, who are fourth on the ladder with three rounds to go, face Collingwood on Sunday afternoon in what will be an absolute blockbuster clash at the SCG.