Home / World News / Swans superstar Lance Franklin to have two chances in Sydney to start next season to reach 1000-goal AFL career milestone

Swans superstar Lance Franklin to have two chances in Sydney to start next season to reach 1000-goal AFL career milestone

The AFL is giving Swans superstar Lance Franklin two games in Sydney to start next season, in the hope he will reach his magical 1000-goal milestone before Round 3.

The Giants will host Franklin’s Swans at Accor Stadium on Saturday, March 19, before Sydney welcomes Geelong to the SCG the following Friday night.

The 34-year-old, who will enter the season on 995 career goals, kicked a combined 12 goals in three clashes with Greater Western Sydney this past season.

But the Cats have held Franklin to one or fewer goals in three of their past four meetings.

They are due to face the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne in Round 3, with AFL fixture boss Marcus King admitting on Thursday that Franklin’s impending milestone was a factor.

“The Swans were very keen to work with us on that as well,” King said.

“So, obviously, you’ve got the Swans against the Giants in Round 1, then Round 2, that Friday night game against Geelong, we think, is a big game regardless.

“The fact that ‘Buddy’ might be kicking for his 1000th only adds to that, so we’re very excited about that one.”

The last Accor Stadium clash between the two Sydney clubs attracted comfortably the biggest crowd for one of their matches, 60,222, in the 2016 finals series.

There is significant anticipation for the next match-up, given the Swans and Giants were away from Sydney for much of last season.

“It’s going to be huge – it really is,” Franklin said of the derby.

“I think playing in front of no crowds this year and last year, it’s not the same. We love our fans and we can’t wait to get back to the SCG and put on a show.”

Giants v Collingwood
Camera IconGWS Giants chief executive Dave Matthews is thrilled to see football returning to Sydney and Canberra next year. Phil Hillyard Credit: News Corp Australia

The two teams are also scheduled to meet in Round 20 at a still-to-be-determined date.

The Giants will play four games in Canberra – one more than the traditional annual agreement – after managing only two appearances at Manuka Oval last season and none in 2020.

One of those will be on the Friday night of Anzac Round against St Kilda, with Geelong, Brisbane and Fremantle also taking on GWS in the nation’s capital.

They return to Giants Stadium in Round 3 to face Gold Coast and will also host Victorian heavyweights Hawthorn, Essendon and Carlton at home.

“After the chaos and disruption of the past two seasons, we can’t wait to get life – and football – back to normal with a full AFL season in Sydney and Canberra in 2022,” GWS CEO Dave Matthews said.

“Put Round 1 in your diary as we get set to return with a bang at Accor Stadium, for what’s sure to be one of the biggest derbies in history.”

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