Gold Coast’s Tom Lynch is set to leave the Suns. Pic: Getty Images
Gold Coast’s Tom Lynch is set to leave the Suns. Pic: Getty Images

Could Bucks’ honesty cost Pies Lynch?

INJURED time means more thinking time for Tom Lynch.

The Gold Coast forward has been doing a lot of that in recent months.

But Lynch, out of contract and out of the side since Round 14 with a season-ending knee injury, wasn't happy with those thoughts being made public.

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley last month confirmed the Pies strong interest in the 25-year-old.

Asked on Footy Classified whether he'd met personally with Lynch, Buckley said: "Yes … a while back."

They are the words that may yet shape the three-way race between Collingwood, Richmond and Hawthorn for his signature.

Lynch, a reserved, almost shy lad, was shocked and irritated by Buckley's revelation.

Lynch grew up a Collingwood supporter on the Mornington Peninsula. Earlier this year he chose to meet Buckley - not Damien Hardwick or Alastair Clarkson - long before his future became the topic of every second footy story.

 

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley was honest when asked about Tom Lynch. Pic: Michael Klein
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley was honest when asked about Tom Lynch. Pic: Michael Klein

 

As consumers of this great game, Buckley's honesty and transparency is all we can ask for.

But it wasn't what Lynch was asking for.

Buckley's comments in late July delivered a tsunami of you-know-what sandwiches to Lynch's doorstep.

Pies list manager Ned Guy drove down the coast to the Lynch family home a few days later to clarify the comments, but the damage was done.

The forward was that week stripped of the co-captaincy, banned from the football department and then attacked for his lack of loyalty by several younger teammates.

The Suns, completely unaware of the Lynch-Buckley meeting, also criticised Buckley for his comments in the first place.

"I think we would be in a different spot if that hadn't happened," was Suns chief executive Mark Evans' summation.

But this is where the industry can be immature. Geelong and Essendon utility James Kelly put it best when he tweeted: "The carry on about player movement will hold the game back."

Buckley's comments shouldn't have caused such seismic fallout, but they did and everyone's a loser as a result.

 

Tom Lynch was caught in the crossfire of Nathan Buckley’s honesty. Pic: AAP
Tom Lynch was caught in the crossfire of Nathan Buckley’s honesty. Pic: AAP

 

Buckley looks bad, Lynch looks bad and the Gold Coast looks bad.

The AFL wasn't happy with the situation, but can't the footy world be honest with itself?

It's 2018 - players move, club's move them on and it belittles the players to suggest they can't properly serve their respective teams with an eye on their future.

As for Lynch, Richmond remains supremely confident and according to some, are the frontrunners to the point it's a "done deal".

"It's been a 2-3 year process to get Tom Lynch to Richmond. I'm telling you it will happen," former Tigers assistant Mark Williams said earlier this month.

Then there's Hawthorn and Alastair Clarkson, who keeps knocking on the door.

The four-time premiership coach, who in 2015 arrived unannounced at Jake Carlisle's Florida hotel in a last-minute bid to lure him to the Hawks, doesn't easily take no for an answer.

Sadly for Buckley, his answer on Lynch was ahead of its time. How much it hurts Collingwood in its bidding for the goalkicker at the present time remains to be seen.

 

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