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Hawks still liaising with Buddy over contract: Clarkson

Matt Thompson  April 13, 2013 11:38 AM

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Hawks star Lance Franklin is out of contract at the end of the year

We're in constant contact with all the managers of our players, and trying to make sure we get the guys to sign to long-term deals
WHILE Lance Franklin has put contract talks on hold, his coach says the lines of communication remain open.

Hawthorn skipper  Luke Hodge put pen to paper this week, signing a one-year extension and ending any potential for free agent speculation about himself.

Former captain Sam Mitchell had already re-signed.

Forget the dollars, Buddy

While there are a few other Hawks on the free agency list, including Brent Guerra and Xavier Ellis, Franklin is the one Alastair Clarkson will keep getting asked about.

AFL.com.au asked the Hawks coach on Saturday whether Hodge's signature would perhaps send a message to others.

"Good loaded question," Clarkson responded

"We'll just work through them one by one. He's one that we've been able to tick off, and hopefully we can get some more soon.

"At some point in time you've got to sit down together and work out what the future contract's going to be.

"We're in constant contact with all the managers of our players, and trying to make sure we get the guys to sign to long-term deals."

Hawthorn plays Collingwood at the MCG on Sunday, having beaten the Magpies three times in 2012.

Clarkson said the team had mostly recovered well from a tough trip to Perth, where it beat West Coast by 50 points.

He said star recruit Brian Lake was "pretty close" to playing, but he had erred on the side of caution.

"We just thought it was too big an ask to come in for his first game of the season and play on someone like Travis Cloke or Quinten Lynch, both big runners," Clarkson said.

"Brian's coming off an interrupted last six weeks, we thought another game at Box Hill might be just the thing he needs."

Brad Sewell will miss the game with hamstring tightness.

"Scans showed a little bit of damage there but not too much," Clarkson said.  
 
Defender Taylor Duryea, 21, will make his debut. Clarkson describes him as a similar type of player to the absent Matt Suckling.

"We're really pleased, his progress has been really sound, particularly over the last 12 months," Clarkson said.

Matt Thompson is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter @MattThompsonAFL