Hawks can fly without Franklin

HAWTHORN coach Alistair Clarkson said his side was well equipped to cover the loss of superstar forward Buddy Franklin in Friday night's qualifying final against Sydney at the MCG.

As expected, Franklin (pictured) was handed a two-match ban by the match review panel yesterday for his high and late hit on Swans defender Nick Malceski last Friday night, with the penalty to be reduced to one game with an early guilty plea.

Clarkson said the team had worked hard this season to ensure the loss of one player would not be critical.

"The benefit of our squad this year is that we've got greater depth, I believe, in terms of the type of players that we can bring in a whole manner of positions," Clarkson said.

"We have worked particularly hard over the course of the last six months to try and spread our load, not just to do with Buddy, but through our midfield as well so that it doesn't just fall to the same three or four important players for us to perform well and win finals.

"Buddy's one of those, but our forward spread has been a lot better this year and we've worked particularly hard to get that."



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