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‘It was perfect’: Buddy opens up on life as a father in lockdown

“The isolation period for me … obviously having the newborn was perfect,” the intensely private Franklin said in an interview with the Swans’ website.

“I got to spend time with my daughter, which I wouldn’t have had, because obviously I leave early in the morning and get back late at night.

“To have that time and build that connection with my daughter was amazing.

“I appreciate my mother and all women, but the appreciation of seeing exactly what mothers do do, day in day out … my appreciation for them is just through the roof, and especially my wife.”

Franklin admitted his most recent injury setback was “pretty devastating”, particularly given he had reached career-best levels of fitness late last year and again after his recovery from a knee arthroscope.

But he said he was absolutely certain that he would be back to his best in the AFL soon enough, despite pundits who believe the former Hawthorn champion’s best days are behind him.

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“People are allowed to say what they want, that’s the industry we’re in. I’m just focusing on getting myself in really good condition, ticking all the boxes I need to tick to make sure that I get back and I’ve got no doubt that I can get back to my best,” he said.

“It’s going to take a lot of hard work but I’m willing to put in the work to make sure I get back out there.

“I’m just focusing on rehabilitating myself as good as possible, putting all my focus in on and that so I can get back as good as possible.

“It is a big setback for me and the football club but I’ll be back … the last two or three years, it’s been really disappointing to have so many injuries. I just want to make sure I get back and stay in the team.”

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