“During pre-season it was a bit more relaxed… but I think now that we’re in season it’s going to be a real competitive advantage that we can win or other teams can lose” , said Rampe.
“The good thing is that in the last two years we have practiced a lot to do it. It looks a bit like Groundhog Day. To be honest, we’re not shaken by it at all, it’s just the nature of the environment right now.
“Our boys are proud to see this as an opportunity, and we’ll do it this week if anything comes up. We’re preparing to play with a full roster right now. It’s a bit boring having to deal with stuff. for a few days, but that’s the reality, and we’re going to continue.”
But circumstances haven’t deterred Rampe or his teammates from embracing the circus that is expected to follow Franklin and the Swans in the run-up to the veteran forward’s 1,000th goal.
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan has given tacit approval to the age-old tradition of fans running across the floor whenever such a goal is achieved, despite risking hefty fines for doing so.
Rampe said the Swans were still looking forward to that moment and weren’t worried about the prospect of mingling with the public on the pitch as Franklin became the sixth player in VFL/AFL history to reach that number.
“The team is comfortable with that, I’m sure,” Rampe said with a smile.
“It’s more for the AFL and safety around the pitch. In the back of our minds, we’re really excited for the first round and the next two games, and obviously we also have Buddy’s 1000th goal hanging over us.
“We really embrace that energy and excitement around it because I feel like as a player Bud deserves it, but it hasn’t taken the focus away from the game. What happens will happen, but we’re not too worried about the restrictions and the crowds coming in.”
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