HAWTHORN star Lance Franklin has poured cold water over a potential move from the Club, declaring he has no intention of playing elsewhere in 2014.
Franklin put negotiations on a new contract on hold on Saturday, deciding to focus instead on his football and the upcoming season.
A restricted free agent at the end of the season, Franklin has the right under free agency laws to field offers from rivals clubs, but declared that’s not the motive behind delaying talks to remain a one-club player.
“I love Hawthorn, they’ve been an absolutely great footy club for myself, it’s coming up to my ninth season there,” Franklin said at the Indigenous All-Stars versus Richmond press conference on Monday.
“It’s just my decision, something I wanted to do and I wanted to leave it until the end of the season.
“I want to stay at Hawthorn.”
Franklin says he doesn’t want the distraction of contract negotiations during the home-and-away season, and instead aims to focus on his football.
“I know there’s going to be a lot of speculation about what I’m going to be doing at the end of the season, but I just want to play football,” he said.
“I have no intentions of leaving the football club, it is what it is, I just want to play footy.”
The superstar forward refuted comments speculation about his future could become a distraction for teammates, declaring leadership and camaraderie around the Club and amongst the playing group is strong.
“It’s my decision, I don’t get entangled in anyone else's contract (neither do) any of the boys from the footy club, it’s just something that’s not talked about,” he said.
“Internally it won’t be spoken about, we’ll just look forward to playing footy and hopefully winning a premiership.
“The footy club we’ve got is very strong, we’ve got some really good leaders and our group as a whole is very tight.”
Franklin will captain the Indigenous All-Stars in an exhibition match against Richmond on Friday 8 February.
Kate Salemme is a member of Hawthorn Football Club's Digital Media team reporting exclusively for hawthornfc.com.au from the Ricoh Centre.