Hodge reveals Franklin Swans shock

13 May 2020 20:27:22 GMTPlus10

Hawthorn champion Luke Hodge has talked of his shock at finding former teammate Lance Franklin had moved to Sydney at the end of 2013.

Franklin, who had just helped the Hawks win the first of what would be three consecutive premierships, moved to the Swans rather than his expected destination of Greater Western Sydney.

Hodge said what surprised him most of all about the move was that Sydney were able to fit in both Franklin and Kurt Tippett.

"My jaw dropped," he added. "They just went through the whole process of getting Tippett and we're sitting there going 'How can they fit him in the cap?

"'There's no way, they'd had to pay him whatever it was'... it was a big build-up and I think everyone was shocked."

The Swans brought the two-time premiership Hawk to the club on a monster nine-year deal.

It wasn't a big surprise to Hodge that Franklin, who had insisted during the 2013 season that he wouldn't negotiate over a new deal until the end of the campaign, finally opted to leave Hawthorn. But he felt sure the superstar forward was bound for the Giants.

In fact, the Swans had approached Franklin a year earlier and made it official soon after the 2013 Grand Final victory over Fremantle.

"In AFL circles, to keep a secret like that going for 12 months, that never happens," said Hodge. "Someone will slip it to someone... between him, Pickers (Franklin's then-manager Liam Pickering), John Longmire and whoever else at Sydney were involved, it was an unbelievable secret to keep for that long."

Two-time Norm Smith Medallist Hodge believes the speculation over Franklin's future during the 2013 campaign affected his game.

"It got to the stage where Bud was trying that hard to prove to everyone he was trying to play his best football for Hawthorn," he said. "We had to bring him in during 2013 and say 'Look mate, we know that you're trying to play your best footy for us but you're trying to kick eight goals when we're happy for you to kick three and play a team role.'"

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