Buddy talked about ‘crazy’ wage dispute, Oliver ruled out, Bomber nears fairytale comeback

Former AFL great Gerard Healy believes Lance Franklin would be ‘crazy’ to leave Sydney amid a wage dispute over a new contract heading into the 2023 season.

A report from the Herald Sun claims Franklin, whose famous nine-year $1.2 million contract with the Swans expires at the end of the year, is looking for a new deal worth between $700,000 and $800,000; while the club is only willing to bid about $500,000.

Speak on 3AW Sports Day RadioHealy, who won a Brownlow Medal for the Swans in 1988 after making a large money offer from Melbourne three years earlier, has urged Franklin to accept what he considers a “pretty fair offer” from Sydney.

“For a 35-year-old moving up to 36 next year, who was rated 13th best key forward in the game, it’s a pretty fair offer I would have thought,” Healy said.

“The suggestion that he goes to a third club should certainly be comical.

“Show me the club that has $800,000 to pay a 36-year-old for a year. And would you really switch clubs for $100,000 – after taxes – after making that much?

“The reality is he’s not the dominant force he once was when he signed the big deal and Sydney has a whole host of other mouths to feed.

“It [a move to another club] would be crazy for mine; it is uplifting.”

Despite the drama, Swans chairman Andrew Pridham remains confident that Franklin, who has kicked an equal club-high 34 goals in 2023, will extend his career for another season in the red and white.

“Both the Club and Lance would like him to continue playing,” Pridham said.

“We are confident that a deal will be reached.

:And yes, he will be leaving Sydney very soon. We fly to Perth on Friday to play Fremantle.”

Lance Franklin celebrates a goal.

(Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

“Not worth the risk”: Dees rules out star for crunch clash

Melbourne has officially confirmed that star midfielder Clayton Oliver will miss their crucial game against Port Adelaide on Sunday.

Oliver, one of the Brownlow Medal favorites, underwent surgery after breaking a thumb when his hand was kicked by Geelong captain Joel Selwood in the Dees’ loss to the Cats last Thursday night.

While Oliver will make the trip to Alice Springs with his teammates, coach Simon Goodwin has already put a line through the premiership rifle.

“Clayton is someone who is very competitive, very determined and he does everything he can to get up,” Goodwin told media on Thursday morning.

“It’s just not worth the risk right now. He’s had surgery, he’s in a really good place – but we’re giving him a week off.

“It is the advice of the doctors and the surgeon that it is best to have him a little longer and we will listen to that.

“I’ve never seen a player have the will to win like Clayton and that’s what makes him so special and that makes him a great teammate.”

Oliver has averaged 34.6 career disposals per game this season, with his only game under 20 being held against the Power himself in round 4 when he was tagged by Willem Drew.

The showdown is vital for both sides, with the Power looking for a win to keep their hopes of the final alive, while the Demons must win to keep up with the Cats at the top of the ladder.

Clayton Oliver of the Demons and Jy Simpkin of the Kangaroos look on.

Clayton Oliver of the Demons and Jy Simpkin of the Kangaroos look on. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

‘Really promising’: Veteran Don makes VFL return and looks forward to memorable AFL comeback

Michael Hurley will return to football for the first time since 2020, when he walks out for Essendon’s VFL side on Sunday.

Hurley, unable to play since contracting a career-threatening hip infection in early 2021, has recently returned to training full-time at Windy Hill, with a number of calf conditions also slowing his progress.

Bombers fitness boss Sean Murphy confirmed the 32-year-old is ready to play for the first time since round 18, 2020 – after a 666-day wait.

“Hurls has had a really good month of training,” Murphy said Wednesday.

“His training load was at a high level and everything looks promising for him.”

Hurley’s next move will be to expand his 193 senior appearances for the Bombers, with this season looking forward to his retirement.