MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 03: Lance Franklin and Ben Dixon of the Hawks celebrates a goal during the round 22 AFL match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Geelong Cats at the Telstra Dome September 3, 2006 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Former Hawthorn forward Ben Dixon has penned an article for, reminiscing about what he remembers during his time at the Hawks with Lance Franklin.

Buddy will play his 250th game this weekend when the Swans host Collingwood on Friday night, and Dixon has recounted certain memories he’s had with one of the game’s best forwards.

The following stories are taken from the article on the AFL Players’ website, with the full article to be viewed here.

On his lack of strength in his first season;

While he had all of that raw talent, potentially his only flaw was his lack of strength. To give you an indication of this, he couldn’t do a pull up, and I think my grandfather could do 20. He just had no strength at all. He was the worst at the gym by a country mile.

The weird thing about that was that he may not have had any strength when it came to the gym, but when you got out on the field, he knew how to body his opponent and get them out of the way.

On Damien Hardwick’s goal kicking advice;

Looking at Buddy now, it looks like he hasn’t received a lot of coaching, but I remember a funny story from my first year of coaching at Hawthorn. It was when Damien Hardwick was the forward-line coach, and Buddy was missing everything in front of goals from about 20-25 metres out but nailing everything from 45.

So Dimma and I decided to have a chat with him, we said ‘Bud, how about when you mark it 25 metres from goal, you go back to about 40 and go through the routine from there?’

He listened and then he turned to us after he finished and said, ‘If I’m really struggling, maybe I’ll try your way, but if I’m on fire, I’ll do it my way.’ I thought to myself that I just love this kid.

On Jason Dunstall’s unusual kicking tactics;

In his second year in 2006, Jason Dunstall came down to the club and he gave Buddy and Roughy a goal-kicking lesson. He put these poles up and tried to get Buddy to run straight and Buddy had a fresh-air shot.

It was just that unnatural to him because of his arc, so he left the field and I asked him what was wrong, and he said, ‘Bloody Dunstall doesn’t want me to break his record, he’s trying to stuff with my routine!’