AFL star Franklin more than a goalkicker

By Adrian Warren
AAP

Sydney coach John Longmire rates his star forward Lance Franklin as much more than a goalkicking machine and a one-man AFL highlight reel.

Former Hawk Franklin is the centre of attention as he prepares to face his old club in Saturday's grand final.

He will likely be part of a full-strength forward line and side, with Longmire saying on Monday he expected Sam Reid to be available for the game.

Reid jarred his knee in last Friday's preliminary final win over North Melbourne, but Longmire said the injury was improving each day.

He expected Reid to train on Thursday and hinted at retaining the side that has won successive finals matches, though he wouldn't guarantee that.

Longmire said while Coleman Medal winner Franklin was generating massive attention externally, inside the club he was just one of the group.

"'We understand he's playing his old team and we understand the focus on him from outside the footy club," Longmire said.

"But inside the footy club when he comes to work, we talk about team defence, we talk about every player playing their role and playing to the best of their ability.

"He's obviously able to kick the goals and that grabs the attention of people.

"But he's also bringing his teammates into the game really well.

"He's a very smart player, he's a beautiful kick,and he puts on pressure.

"He's a player that plays two-way football, and so he's been able to fit in really well."

Longmire was also pleased with he progress and the timely lift in form and fitness of another forward, Kurt Tippett.

His first half of the campaign season was interrupted by injury problems.

But Longmire said the longer the season went, the better he has got as he became able to train fully.

"We're seeing the immediate benefits of that," Longmire said.

"He's been able to come out and take a few marks and we're playing him in the ruck more, which has been good for him as well.

"It's added to our game and to our flexibility and our team. He's been getting better each week."

Longmire was mindful of the multiple threats posed by Hawthorn's forward line, three of who have kicked over 50 goals this season.

"They are a very flexible forward line they rotate not only the players through there, but also the positions they play," Longmire said.

He wasn't prepared to speculate on whether Cyril Rioli would line up for Hawthorn on the weekend.

Longmire was able to see the lighter side of his co-captain Kieren Jack paying a fine after the match review panel cited the midfielder for misconduct after slinging North Melbourne's Luke McDonald over the boundary line last Friday.

"I think he's extremely disappointed it cost him $1800, he's very careful with his money," Longmire joked.