Jobs Events Advertise Newsletter

Auskick kids in shock and awe as Buddy pays a visit

Roger Vaughan -

Retired AFL great Lance Franklin remains one of the code's biggest stars with his surprise appearance at a Darwin Auskick appearance described as "shock and awe".

After ending his career last year, the 37-year-old Hawthorn and Sydney great has kept a low profile.

He is in Darwin for the Sir Doug Nicholls Round, which starts on Thursday night when Gold Coast host Geelong at TIO Stadium.

The first the kids at Wednesday's Auskick clinic knew he would be there was when they were dwarfed by his 1.99m, 100kg-plus frame.

"(It was) a bit of shock and awe," said AFL inclusion and social policy manager Tanya Hosch.

"It just encourages them. There are role models of an Aboriginal background who've had enormous success in the game.

"It just demonstrates to them that they can be part of that conversation.

"Even if they don't make it to the highest level, the fact that someone like Buddy Franklin is taking an interest in them, it tells them they're important."

Franklin said he wants to work with Indigenous children and said being part of the clinic was "a really special day".

"You see so much talent here, it's crazy - some of the kids' marking and kicking for their age is just incredible," he said.

"To see the smiles on their faces when I rocked up was very special to me."

When he becomes eligible for induction, Franklin will be an automatic entry into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.

He played 354 games for the Hawks and Swans, kicking 1066 goals and playing in two premierships.

The freakishly skilled key forward was an eight-time All Australian - once as captain - and a four-time Coleman Medallist as the AFL's leading goalkicker.

While Franklin is one of the game's greatest players, he paid tribute to the Indigenous teammates who inspired him.

"I was fortunate enough to play with some of the greatest players who have played this game - Shaun Burgoyne, Cyril (Rioli) and then heading up to Sydney and playing with Goodesy (Adam Goodes) for his final couple of years was something I will look back on and have some fond memories.

"Also Micky O (Michael O'Loughlin) - I've been blessed to have been part of two great clubs and witnessed these great players, see what they do.

"Not just on-field, but off-field - the way they represent their people and where they come from is really important."

Roger Vaughan - AAP


NT Aboriginal peak bodies call for more comprehensive approach to meet Closing the Gap socio-economic targets
Aboriginal Peak Organisations NT has welcomed the Territory budget's investments...
Giovanni Torre 16 May 2024
Malarndirri McCarthy says budget is helping Indigenous communities in the NT
Federal Senator Malarndirri McCarthy says the funding in both the federal and No...
Dechlan Brennan 16 May 2024
Curfews to be made easier to impose in NT after "success" in Mparntwe/Alice Springs
The Northern Territory government has announced new legislation to make the impl...
Dechlan Brennan 16 May 2024
"Likely exacerbate the problem”: NT Aboriginal justice agency says extra police funding won't help alleviate crime
The Northern Territory's leading Aboriginal justice agency have argued record in...
Dechlan Brennan 15 May 2024

   Roger Vaughan   

‘I want to be there’: Josh Addo-Carr faces potential State of Origin showdown against Dragons rival
Two men will enter Accor Stadium on Thursday night, but only one might return...
Martin Gabor 20 May 2024
Walsh on track for Broncos after double knee knock
Reece Walsh is leaving nothing to chance to be fit for Brisbane's NRL clash with...
Joe Gould 20 May 2024
Martin Gabor 20 May 2024
Ah Chee next Linc in chain as Lions rebuild
Chris Fagan didn't forget Callum Ah Chee's gentle pre-season reminder when Lin...
Murray Wenzel 20 May 2024