Buddy Franklin detail emerges as Joel Amartey responds to furore over Sydney Swans move

Amartey starred against Adelaide on the weekend as he kicked a whopping nine goals.

Swans forward Joel Amartey has credited his relationship with Lance 'Buddy' Franklin for turning him into the player he is after bagging a massive nine goals in the Swans' 42-point away victory over the Crows. Amartey produced a match-winning nine-goal haul from only 10 disposals on Saturday night as Sydney claimed a big victory over Adelaide.

In that game, Amartey became the first Swan since Franklin to boot at least nine goals, which Buddy last achieved in August 2017 when he kicked 10. The stellar performance has rocketed the 24-year-old into fifth place on the Coleman Medal leaderboard with 31 goals and he has already bested his previous best season tally of 20 in 15 games last year. As the young Swan goes from strength to strength, he revealed that his time under the watchful eye of AFL great Franklin has made him into the player he is today.

Pictured left Buddy Franklin and right Joel Amartey
Joel Amartey says his relationship with Lance Franklin has been crucial to his development after bagging a massive nine goals in the Swans' 42-point away victory over the Crows. Image: Getty

“I guess (Franklin) is the greatest key forward mentor you can have,” Amartey told SEN. “The main one is he’s the greatest competitor, I reckon, of all time. His ability to compete on the ground – and playing key forward, can be a bit dry sometimes when you’re not getting the ball. The self-belief in your strengths and what you can bring to the team was a big one he used to instil.”

Selected by Sydney in the 2017 rookie draft, Amartey spent almost three seasons on the list under the tutelage of Franklin before making his AFL debut in round 17, 2020. However, soft-tissue injuries prevented from him establishing himself in the first-grade side since.

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 15: Joel Amartey of the Swans celebrates a goal during the 2024 AFL Round 14 match between the Adelaide Crows and the Sydney Swans at Adelaide Oval on June 15, 2024 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Sarah Reed/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Swans forward Joel Amartey kicked a whopping nine goals against the Crows.

Before this match, the largest goal haul the 2024 AFL season was six, which had been achieved by six different players. But on Saturday, Amartey blew that mark out of the water racking up nine.

With an increased role against the Crows on the weekend the Swans product did not disappoint. Amartey’s time on ground was at 80 per cent against the Crows, significantly higher than his career average of about 60 to 65 per cent game time. But the Swans' decision to bench Amartey several times in the final quarter, including with a couple of minutes remaining drew criticism.

On Channel 7, Alister Nicholson said: “This just isn’t on. You got to call that out. Joel Amartey on the bench with two minutes to go and he has kicked nine.

"It’s an entertainment product partly, isn’t it? I know teams want to win, but this result is well and truly determined. Leave him out there and let’s have some late theatre."

While four-time premiership winner Shaun Burgoyne added: “He’s laughing because he’s like ‘what am I doing here?’ They’re all laughing, saying get him back out there.”

But on SEN when asked about the bizarre decision to bench him Amartey said it was down to workload management. The call possibly stopped him from notching a double-digit goal return but Amartey says he had no problem with the Swans' medical staff's decision to pull him off.


“To be honest with you, I was pretty gassed at that stage – I was making little dummy leads I’d never make in my life I reckon at one stage there,” he told SEN. "Given some of my injury history, I think they were pretty keen just to get me off and get into next week and recover well, but I wasn’t too willing to look up the box and see Horse (Longmire) there on the phone (to ask to go back onto the ground). It’s a conversation I’m not willing to have yet in my career I don’t think.”