Franklin targets 1000 goals but WA milestone to come first
As just about everyone in the football world knows, Lance Franklin needs just five goals for Sydney to become the sixth player with 1000 in the AFL or VFL.
Far fewer football followers are aware that Franklin needs just four majors to become the fifth West Australian with a four-figure goal tally in senior football.
Franklin was just 17 when he played his sole WAFL match for Perth in 2004. He kicked one goal against West Perth – a running bomb from the left forward flank that has become his signature move – but did not make another appearance because he was required to return to Darlot Cup duties with his school Wesley.
I covered that match and my notes refer to Franklin’s athletic prowess and energy, his high leap and his appetite for contested football. Even as a skinny teenager, he was noticeable because of his height, speed and kicking depth though none of the 1614 spectators at Arena Joondalup that day would surely have realised that they were witnessing the start of one of the greatest sporting careers of the modern era.
Ted Tyson was the first of WA’s 1000-goal kickers and, remarkably, the only one – apart from Franklin himself – of the top seven scorers not to be included in the Australian Football Hall of Fame.
Franklin is sure to be inducted as soon as he is eligible while Tyson, a member of WA’s two most famous footballing families, could be elevated as early as this year.
Tyson, who won four flags at West Perth during a career that brought 1173 WAFL goals, has one of the most extraordinary tales of Sandover Medal woe in the league’s history.
He once kicked 17.5 out of West Perth’s 18.7 but given that he only received two Sandover Medal votes for the season, was not even best on ground that day. Tyson had a great duel with his contemporary George Doig, the East Fremantle star who was the first player to kick 100 goals in a season and then did it nine years in a row, while they were succeeded by the South Fremantle champion Bernie Naylor during that club’s golden era after World War II.
Naylor holds the WAFL record of 23 goals in a league match but also kicked tallies of 19, 18 and 14 as well as 10 other double-figure bags.
Austin Robertson was the last spearhead to join the 1000-goal club but went past his predecessors by kicking 1214 goals for Subiaco to hold a WAFL record that is unlikely to ever be broken.
Another West Perth full-forward Ray Scott (910 goals) went into the Hall of Fame primarily for his prodigious umpiring career while George Moloney was an inaugural entrant after career that saw him with flags and goal-kicking awards at Claremont and Geelong as well as a Sandover Medal and second place in the Brownlow.
Most goals by WA footballers
Goals Name WAFL V/AFL WA
1318 Austin Robertson 1214 60 44
1210 Ted Tyson 1197 - 13
1159 George Doig 1097 - 62
1076 Bernie Naylor 1034 - 44
996 Lance Franklin 1 995 -
914 Ray Scott 910 - 4
886 George Moloney 555 303 28