HAWTHORN defender Josh Gibson has no hard feelings towards good mate Lance Franklin, despite the star forward's defection to the Sydney Swans.

"That's footy," Gibson said after winning the Hawks' best and fairest, the Peter Crimmins Medal.

"He got offered a massive deal from Sydney and we're all realistic – if we're all offered nine-year contracts we'd all be taking them."

Franklin did not attend Saturday night's function, but both Hawthorn president Andrew Newbold and coach Alastair Clarkson paid tribute to him in his absence.

A tribute video was also played, which drew cheers and clapping from the brown and gold faithful.

"I thought it was really fitting tonight, the way that the club went about really respecting what Bud's done for the footy club," Gibson said.

"I thought the supporters were really good about that. Sometimes, when there's a trade, people tend to forget what someone's done for an organisation.

"But what he's done here for the last nine years is super.

"He's my close mate, that's never going to change, and I was really glad that the club sent him off in the way that it did."

Franklin was quick to text Gibson after the consistent backman was announced as the club champion for 2013.

The pair have also been exchanging banter about the chances of them lining up on each other next season.

"That's why I came to Hawthorn – to not play on him," Gibson joked. "I've already said to Lakey, 'You can have him.'"

However, Gibson played on Franklin a number of times during his four seasons with North Melbourne, and established a decent record against his good mate.

"I like to tell people that I always used to crush him," Gibson joked.

"So the Hawthorn people said, 'We'd better get him so Buddy can kick some goals against North.'

"And he kicked 13!

"That's the back and forth banter we have. To be honest, we've had some good duels and he's won a few of them.

"Don't tell him that though."

Twitter: @AFL_AdamMcNicol