Franklin has Gary Ablett's mark in sight

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Sydney coach John Longmire has reflected on his not-so-fond memory of lining up on Gary Ablett Sr as Lance Franklin prepares to overtake the Geelong great.

Three goals for Franklin in Saturday night's clash with Fremantle in Perth would see the star Swan leapfrog Ablett (1031 goals) into fifth spot on the all-time VFL/AFL goals list.

Franklin is expected to play on next year, meaning Doug Wade's mark of 1057 goals is also well and truly within reach.

Longmire enjoyed a decorated 200-game playing career at North Melbourne which included the 1999 grand final win over Carlton.

But taking on Geelong icon Ablett didn't count as part of his 'highlights'.

"I actually played on him one day at full back and he kicked six on me to halftime," Longmire recalled with a smile.

"So the memories of playing on Gary Ablett aren't great.

"He was one of the most explosive, dynamic forwards to ever play the game. I had the good fortune, or sometimes misfortune, to play against him and saw what he was like."

Franklin booted a wayward 2.5 in last week's 53-point win over the Western Bulldogs, but his impact on the game was huge.

The 35-year-old reeled in five contested marks and played a crucial hand in setting up teammates for goals.

"Lance is still being able to contribute every week, and every week you'd say he's probably got the best defender," Longmire said.

"He's just a massive competitor. He loves to play in the big games."

Longmire confirmed that ruckman Peter Ladhams will miss about three weeks after undergoing surgery on the broken thumb he suffered against the Bulldogs.

Tom Hickey missed the win due to illness, and the Swans will be desperately hoping he is given the green light to face Fremantle big man Sean Darcy.

"He's a chance," Longmire said.

"We'll see how he trains this week. He ran around today and looked OK. We'll see how he goes tomorrow and Thursday."

Fremantle are confident of regaining defender Alex Pearce, who was a late withdrawal from last week's 41-point win over St Kilda after his calf tightened up in the warm-up.

Rebounding defender Heath Chapman and wingman Blake Acres are also in the selection mix.

Forward Sam Switkowski, who is in a race against time to return this season from a back fracture, signed a new one-year deal on Monday that will tie him to the Dockers until the end of 2024.

Third-placed Fremantle (12-4) and seventh-placed Sydney (10-6) are in the hunt for the top four, with Saturday night's result to have huge ramifications for both sides.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting