They're Buddy good: Franklin's high praise for Top End youngsters

They're Buddy good: Franklin's high praise for Top End youngsters

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Nine months after hanging up the boots, Lance Franklin has bobbed up in Darwin on the eve of Sir Doug Nicholls Round.

The Hawthorn and Sydney champion helped conduct an Auskick clinic for 60 wide-eyed youngsters from Anula Primary School and the Michael Long Learning Centre on Wednesday afternoon.

Decked out in black shirt, black shorts, and white Nike boots, Franklin spent more than an hour with the children, having a kick, a mark and cheerily engaging with them.

The eight-time All-Australian and two-time premiership star who kicked 1066 goals in his illustrious career said it was "crazy" how much talent there was in the Top End.

"Some of the marking and kicking for their age is incredible," Franklin said.

"To see the smiles on their young faces, it's been a special day, that's for sure.

"It's just so nice to get back out to the community and give back and see these young kids."

Franklin said post-football life had treated him well and was now considering how to spend his time going forward.

"Retirement's been really nice," he said.

"It's been nine months now. I'm loving that time to be with my young family … seeing them grow every day has been awesome.

"I think that's an area I'll focus on, grassroots, Indigenous and giving back to the community."

AFL EGM Inclusion and Social Policy Tanya Hosch said Franklin's appearance would be life-changing for the children.

"We're so thankful for leaders like 'Buddy' to give up his time to be here," Hosch said.

"He's definitely changed our game on and off the field for the better and we're really thrilled to see the excitement in the children's faces when he arrived today.

"Hopefully that's going to stay with them for a long time and encourage them to stay involved with the game."