Buddy’s Back: Swans Star Expected To Return To Pre-Season Training

Rumours of Buddy Franklin‘s retirement are greatly exaggerated.

Despite media speculation that Franklin’s on-going battle with an unspecified mental illness could result in the champion forward’s premature retirement from the game, it is now understood that Franklin is instead making preparations to return to the Sydney Swans to mount the club’s pre-season campaign.
Franklin has met with club officials yesterday to make arrangements for his return, which looks likely to occur at the same time as the rest of the playing group. The Swans pre-season training campaign will begin later in November.
Franklin’s season was cut short by the much talked-about struggle with mental health issues, and since he withdrew from the playing group the star forward has spent his time largely out of the public eye – with partner Jacinta Campbell occasionally making media appearances to champion the work that mental health experts do, as well as challenge the stigma that still lingers over subject, particularly with regards to masculinity.
Swans coach John Longmire fronted media earlier today to detail the meeting, which took place yesterday.

“It was about last season in general and also about how we move forward. He’ll continue to receive support from professionals that know how to deal with it better than I do. And they’re indicating he will be back for pre-season training and that his support will be ongoing.”

“He’s been through a challenging time but he feels good and looks healthy. Primarily he’s looking forward to getting back into training.”

Franklin is not expected to attend the Swans Best & Fairest function on Friday night.

Go get ’em, Buddy!
If you or someone you know struggles with mental illness, please visit BeyondBlue.org.au, or give them a call on 1300 22 4636
Photo: Matt King via Getty Images.