Hawks star set to be on the straight and narrow for upcoming season.
Hawthorn Hawks star forward Lance Franklin has been putting in additional work on his set-shot routine over the summer months in a bid to convert more from in front of goal.
Franklin has been one of the most dangerous forwards in the AFL for the past three years, however, his accuracy went missing when it mattered most in last year’s grand final.
Despite being a presence around the ground, Franklin was unable to convert that into scoreboard pressure in kicking only 3.4 including a shot out on the full just before half-time.
Hawthorn said the coaching staff have not made a concerted effort to alter Franklin’s kicking style, despite reports his natural drift towards to the left has lessened dramatically
The change has seen him kick through the ball more with his favoured left foot, as opposed to looking to bring his leg back across his body.
Hawks legend Shane Crawford said any chance to Franklin’s style would be a good thing as they look to go one step further than their grand final loss to the Sydney Swans in 2012.
“I have noticed he is running straighter at goal and it will be interesting to see if it works,” Crawford said.
“Everyone has a different way of kicking the football and you work with them, you don’t try to totally change them.
“But he averages something like nine shots at goal a game. If he can get himself converting at a better rate, that’s enormous.
“It becomes two or three goals a game. He becomes a hundred-goal-per-season kicker again, and it’s the difference between winning and losing close games.”
Underlying Franklin’s role as a spearhead of the Hawks’ attacking are his stats on goal during the past eight years.
In that time Franklin has scored 520.385 from 905 scoring shots, however, his stats from 2012 saw him take a noticeable dip.
After kicking 82 goals in 2011 at a conversion rate of just under 70 per cent, Franklin only booted 69 majors in 2012 with the key forward only finding his way to goal 52 per cent of the time.
In other Franklin news, Fremantle coach Ross Lyon has denied the club is chasing his signature at the end of the season.
Where Franklin will play from 2014 onwards has been the source of intense speculation this pre-season, with the player’s decision not to negotiate until the end of the year only adding fuel to the flames.
Fremantle and Greater Western Sydney are only seen as two of the club’s, outside of Hawthorn, who could afford the likely asking price for the forward.