SCG game on radar for Franklin milestone
The Sydney Swans are almost certain to be granted their wish of a SCG round-two blockbuster next year with Lance Franklin close to booting his 1000th AFL goal.
Franklin finished the 2021 season five goals shy of becoming the sixth player in VFL/AFL history to reach the magical milestone.
The Swans will open the 2022 season with a trip to Accor Stadium (Sydney's Olympic Stadium) to face cross-town rivals GWS on March 19.
But club hierarchy have requested a home match, likely against Franklin's former team Hawthorn, in round two.
Geelong legend Gary Ablett Sr was the last player to kick his 1000th career goal when he reached the achievement in 1996.
Ablett's milestone came during a golden era for forwards, as it was the third-straight year a player had reached four figures after Jason Dunstall (1994) and Tony Lockett (1995).
"I think they want him to kick three or four in round one then land in round two," AFL boss Gillon McLachlan told reporters on Saturday.
But McLachlan said the looming celebration of the man they call 'Buddy' would be a "huge thing" for the AFL.
"It will be a big thing for Sydney, the football club and football in that state and a massive thing for Buddy," McLachlan said.
"He's been close to the pre-eminent player in our game for over a decade and that's something to look forward to.
"Whether it's round one, round two or round three, he'll get there and it will be a big thing for football."
After injuries wiped out the entire 2020 season for Franklin, the 34-year-old hit back this year with 51 goals in 18 games as the Swans played finals for the first time since 2018.
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