IT'S INEVITABLE there will be hype surrounding Hawthorn's clash with its former pin-up boy Lance Franklin in the lead-up to next Saturday's Grand Final, but predictably Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson is downplaying the looming showdown.
Franklin left Hawthorn at the end of last season to join the Sydney Swans as a restricted free agent.
There was speculation most of last year that Franklin was leaving Waverley after he put his contract talks with the Hawks on hold before the start of the 2013 season.

But the fact he joined the Swans rather than their cross-town rivals Greater Western Sydney caught most by surprise. Especially when the Swans had signed former Adelaide spearhead Kurt Tippett on a lucrative deal just a year earlier.

Franklin left Hawthorn after 182 games, 580 goals, two premierships, two Coleman Medals and one best and fairest award.
His No. 23 jumper was also far and away the most popular among Hawthorn fans, who were predictably devastated to see him leave.
However, Clarkson said none of Franklin's history at Hawthorn would count for anything next Saturday.

"I'm sure you guys will make a bit of spice out of it," Clarkson said at his press conference after Hawthorn's three-point win over Port Adelaide on Saturday night.
"But we're just a side that will run out with 22 brown and gold jumpers against 22 red and white ones.
"As mundane as that may seem, it's the way we have to approach it.
"He's been a really good footballer for our club for a long, long period of time and obviously playing some really good footy for Sydney at the present time.
"But what's happened beforehand doesn't really matter now. It's all about 22 guys from each side doing what they need to do to try and secure their club a premiership next week."

Franklin looms as one of the biggest obstacles in the Hawks' quest for back-to-back flags, having won his third Coleman Medal in his first year at the Swans. He was also best on ground in the Swans' 71-point preliminary final thrashing of North Melbourne with five goals.
But Clarkson is up for the challenge Franklin and the Swans present and believes the Hawks are just as well placed to win next Saturday despite their far harder preliminary final.
"Both sides had pretty impressive years, finished one, two on the ladder. How the teams actually get there doesn't really matter too much," Clarkson said.
"All we do know is we're going to have to play some of our best footy next week to get over the line.
"I'm sure 'Horse' (John Longmire) is saying the same thing to Sydney. They're going to need to play well to get over the line against us.
"As silly as it sounds, whoever plays better next week is going to be holding the premiership cup up."