Lance Franklin signs one-year extension from Swans in AFL’s big final week | AFL

Lance Franklin has ended intense speculation over his AFL future, signing a one-year contract extension with Sydney.

After months of speculation over whether he would retire after Saturday’s grand final or join a rival club, the star striker made the announcement days before the decision against Geelong at the MCG.

Rumors have swirled this season that Franklin was set to leave the club he signed a hugely lucrative nine-year contract with in 2013, as manager John Longmire juggles a salary cap and a heavy youth roster talents.

But the Swans announced on Monday night that the 35-year-old would continue playing, tweeting a two-word statement that read simply: “One more”.

“I needed to sit down with my family, we decided we wanted to stay in Sydney,” Franklin said himself on Tuesday.

“It was obviously a long process to come to this decision. I didn’t know if I was going to continue… I still have the passion, I love the game. It was a difficult decision.

“Obviously we have the grand final this week, there’s going to be a lot of speculation – ‘aw, is it going to continue?’ I just wanted to talk about the boys. It’s a huge game for us.”

The move means Franklin will enter his 10th season with Sydney and his 19th overall, continuing one of the game’s most illustrious careers.

When he joined the Swans as a free agent, days after playing in the grand final that won Hawthorn the 2013 flag, he had already won two premierships with the Hawks. This also included 2008, a campaign in which he scored 113 goals.

As it stands, Franklin has scored 1,047 career goals in 340 games, having eclipsed the 1,000 goal mark against the Cats at SCG in March to become the sixth player in AFL history/ VFL to do so.

He has now passed Gary Ablett Snr’s total of 1,031 this season and is behind only Doug Wade (1,057), Jason Dunstall (1,254), Gordon Coventry (1,299) and Tony Lockett (1,360).

There have been signs of Franklin dying in recent years, when soft tissue injuries sidelined him for long periods of time. In 2022, however, he kicked 50+ majors in a season for the 13th time in his career.

After being held scoreless for the first time this season in Sydney’s final win over Melbourne, Franklin scored two crucial goals in the one-point preliminary round win over Collingwood last weekend.

He is yet to win a flag with the Swans, having been part of the losing teams in the Grand Finals of 2014 and 2016.

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