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‘One more’: Buddy Franklin WILL play for Sydney next season as AFL superstar signs one-year deal

The Sydney Swans have received an unexpected boost ahead of the grand final when Buddy Franklin shocked the AFL by announcing he will remain at the club next year.

Franklin’s $10 million nine-year contract with the Swans expires at the end of the season and the 35-year-old’s future has long been the subject of speculation.

However, the two-time Premiership winner put an end to the rumors himself on Monday night with a succinct two-word statement that simply said: “One more thing.”

The bombshell comes after months of speculation that Franklin could either retire or end his nine-year tenure at Sydney to play for another club.

Earlier last month, the Herald Sun reported that the Swans felt they “almost” agree to a 12-month extension with the AFL superstar and were “surprised” by reports Franklin had been linked to a move.

The four-time Coleman medalist pondered his future after the Swans put forward an offer of $500,000 a year, a significant reduction from Franklin’s current deal, which is expected to be in the region of $800,000 a season.

Franklin and Sydney’s announcement (pictured above) followed the exact format of the basketball legend’s message, which Michael Jordan sent on his return to the Chicago Bulls in 1995, in which he simply announced, “I’m back.”

The full statement from Jordan’s management read: “WASHINGTON, DC (March 18, 1995) – The following statement was released today by Michael Jordan through his personal attorney and chief executive David B. Falk, Chairman of Falk Associates Management Enterprises, Inc. (“FAME”) in Washington, DC, in response to questions about his future career plans: “I’m back.”

At the start of this season, Franklin became only the sixth player in VFL/AFL history to score at least 1,000 career goals. He turns 36 less than two months before the start of the 2023 season and is on track to play his 350th AFL game next year.

Franklin has had 52 goals this season and was at his best in Saturday’s dramatic one-point win for the Swans over Collingwood in the prelims at the SCG.

He had two goals remaining with 13 dismounts and seven points as Sydney beat the Pies 14-11(95) to 14-10(94) to earn a berth in this Saturday’s Grand Final against Geelong.

“He was very good, especially early on, winning competition after competition and chasing,” Swans coach John Longmire told reporters after the game.

“He was up and doing the big ‘bud’, he was charging around and I thought he gave us a lot of energy.

“He won some important competitions, especially in the first half he was able to win a 50-50 ball and I just thought some of the prints he used early in the game were excellent too.”

Franklin has scored 467 goals in 158 games so far after scoring 580 goals in 182 games with Hawthorn.

He currently sits fifth on the all-time VFL/AFL all-time scoring list with 1,047 goals, 10 behind fourth-placed Doug Wade.

The star striker won two Premierships with Hawthorn in 2009 and 2013 but was on the losing side against Sydney in 2012.

After trading the Hawks for the Swans in late 2013, Franklin led Sydney to the Grand Final in his first season at the club, only to lose to Hawthorn.

Sydney and Franklin made it to the Grand Final again in 2016, only to lose to the Western Bulldogs.

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