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Freo will 'make a play' for Buddy: Wellingham

Alex Malcolm  May 6, 2013 5:40 PM

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Sharrod Wellingham believes Fremantle will target Lance Franklin at season's end, despite the club's denials

I just know that they are one of the teams who are going make a play for him, I suppose. Who else? Has GWS maybe got the money as well?
LANCE Franklin's former housemate believes Fremantle will try to entice the Hawthorn star to return to Western Australia at season's end.

West Coast's Sharrod Wellingham, who used to live with Franklin in Melbourne, was asked on Monday if he had spoken recently with his close friend and his response was frank.

"Yeah, I have given him a couple of calls," Wellingham said.

"I don't think we will be able to get him, but maybe if he comes back over to the West to the other team, maybe."

When asked why he thought Fremantle was a contender to land the out-of-contract Franklin, Wellingham was honest.

"I just know that they are one of the teams who are going make a play for him, I suppose.

"Who else? Has GWS maybe got the money as well?"

Fremantle has already vehemently denied any talks with Franklin, who is yet to re-sign with Hawthorn.

Coach Ross Lyon made it crystal clear in March that any rumours surrounding Fremantle's interest in the Hawthorn star were unsubstantiated.

"This will clear it up and probably puts a really fine point on it; I went to a coaches association sub-committee meeting and Alastair Clarkson was there and we have a professional relationship," Lyon said.

"I sought him out, because this was bubbling around - unlike (Travis) Cloke last year, we were clearly in that - and this is totally different.

"I sought out Alastair and said, 'This is not us. Just to be really clear, just to let you know so you don't have to worry, it is not us'.

"That's on the public record."

Franklin was held goalless for the second consecutive week on Saturday against Adelaide.

It was the first time since his debut season in 2005 that the two-time Coleman medallist had been held goalless in consecutive matches.

Wellingham felt the contract negotiations weren't affecting his friend's form.

"I don't think that has much to do with the contract talks or what is going on off-field," he said.

"He's a good player and has been good for a long time and maybe just having a down patch at the moment.

"I'm sure he'll put in the work and be back in form in no time."

The former Magpie saw a similar situation first-hand with Travis Cloke last season but felt it was different to Franklin's negotiations.

"There was a lot of pressure on (Cloke) for the whole year," he said.

"I think he was in a position where he's got his parents managing him so I'm not sure what was going on at home.

"So things might have been a little bit different but I can't really say whether it affected him."