Lance Franklin is officially the sixth player in the history of the VFL/AFL to kick 1,000 goals.
Buddy’s journey from highly-touted draft pick out of Western Australia to the game’s history books has been long, more difficult than once looked likely, and unbelievably enjoyable to watch.
Take a walk back through the best of the goals that brought Buddy here.
#1: Off the mark in game number two (round two, 2005)
After a goalless debut in round one against Sydney, a rookie Franklin took his first steps up the mountain with a handy bag of three against Richmond the following week.
The first goal of his career came in inauspicious circumstances. A lead-up mark at half-forward, a 50-metre penalty thanks to a shove in the back from Joel Bowden and a cool set shot.
Buddy was away.
#122: Killing off Crows in the clutch (elimination final, 2007)
Franklin kicked 73 goals in the 2007 season, the first truly dominant campaign of his AFL career, but he went to another level in early September on a sunny afternoon at Docklands.
With a 55-metre bomb on the siren to win a final for the Hawks, Franklin had his first transcendent moment, proving that — at just 20 years of age — he had the stomach for even the biggest of moments.
# 225: ‘Lance Franklin joins the 100 club’ (round 22, 2008)
Less than a year later, Buddy was immortalised with entry into a club so exclusive, he remains the most recent inductee.
That night, and that game against Carlton, was just bizarre. From the buzz around Franklin and Brendan Fevola’s chase for the ton, the almost-choreographed pitch-invasion, players posing for photos on the field, all the way to Alastair Clarkson throwing everything at depriving Fev of his moment.
It very much feels like a game from a bygone era now, and what Buddy accomplished that night may never be matched again.
#238: Franklin starts Hawthorn’s premiership party (grand final, 2008)
The 2008 grand final wasn’t Franklin’s finest game, but it was the crescendo to his best individual season and the crowning of Clarkson’s first great team.
Franklin was a little quiet in the first half as the Hawks and Cats struggled to gain a clear advantage, but with a trademark 50-metre launch from the corner of the arc he kick-started a third-quarter surge that would never be headed.
The first goal of the last quarter of that grand final was crucial. It took nine minutes to come, but when it did, it came from Buddy’s boot — a drop punt that arced around a corner and killed off the Cats.
#335: Thoughts and prayers with Cale Hooker (round 13, 2010)
You’ve probably seen this goal upwards of a few dozen times, but it’s worth watching again for the hell of it.
Remember, he did basically the exact same thing to Mark McVeigh about three minutes before this. And, generally, kicks at least one variation of this goal every season.
#451: The greatest Buddy goal that didn’t matter (preliminary final, 2011)
In an alternate universe — in which Luke Ball doesn’t snap one from a stoppage a minute later — this might just about be Franklin’s greatest moment.
Given the timing and given the degree of difficulty, this is an absurd goal. And, yet, just minutes later, his season was over.
#485: A baker’s dozen (round 10, 2012)
Also known as Goal 13.
Goals number 12 and 13 that day both came in the last 90 seconds of the game, which explains why Anthony Hudson’s head famously exploded as Buddy snuck one more highlight into his reel.
#530: Hurdles at the MCG (round three, 2013)
End to end, in about 12 seconds, with a bit of Franklin flair thrown in.
This one was Goal of the Year in 2013, the second time Buddy had claimed the honour. If the footwork isn’t enough for you, a drop punt from the centre square will get you over the line.
#856: A bag of 10 wins Franklin one more Coleman (round 23, 2017)
On this day, Lance Franklin decided to single-handedly decimate the Carlton Football Club and win a Coleman Medal, presumably just because he felt like it.
Buddy outscored the Blues himself by five points and, despite beginning the match trailing Josh Kennedy by five goals in the Coleman race, ended it with a five-goal lead.
#868: Buddy’s new playground (round 1, 2018)
Let this be a lesson to all of us: Don’t invite Lance Franklin to your house-warming. He will humiliate the hosts in front of everyone, write his name in big block letters all over the wall and make you wish you never invited him in the first place.
The eight goals Buddy kicked that day against West Coast remains the record at Perth Stadium. Against what would soon be the premiership back line, no less.
#987: Still got it (round 23, 2021)
Buddy made a late charge to reach four figures by the end of the 2021 season, and it seemed anything was possible when he slotted this one against Gold Coast.
Perhaps the Suns thought Buddy would go easy on them for the first 15 seconds of the game. Not so. A mark inside the centre square, a little jog to 55 and yet another left-foot banger from the master of the art.
#1,000: Mission accomplished (round two, 2022)
The stage was set and, as ever, Buddy rose to the occasion.
Franklin had a quiet first half, even as his Swans took hold against Geelong but, late in the third quarter, the mood changed dramatically.
At three-quarter time, Buddy was one away. About 15 minutes — and one torturous stint on the bench — later, the deed was done.
Once Chad Warner had lowered the eyes and laced Buddy out, the charge to the middle of the SCG was on.
Source: AFL NEWS ABC