Lynch says no to any early AFL trade talk

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - SPORT -

GOLD Coast spear­head Tom Lynch won’t be re­turn­ing home to Vic­to­ria in next month’s AFL trade pe­riod af­ter knock­ing back over­tures to make an early move.

Lynch, 25 next month, is poised to be­come the most wanted man in the game next sea­son as clubs pre­pare mil­lion-dol­lar-a-year deals to land the su­per­star free agent.

In an at­tempt to bring the sit­u­a­tion for­ward, clubs in­clud­ing Rich­mond were keen to pull off a deal for Lynch next month in what would have been a mas­sive boost to its for­ward stocks.

The Tigers are armed with two first-round draft picks to help strike a trade deal, while Colling­wood was also a strong suitor for the 121-game power for­ward.

But Lynch has ad­vised the Suns and his agent Rob­bie D’Orazio he re­mained fully com­mit­ted to lead­ing Gold Coast in the fi­nal year of his con­tract in 2018.

It means no trade deals will be en­ter­tained in next month’s ex­change pe­riod.

How­ever, his fu­ture in the game be­yond next sea­son is still un­cer­tain.

The Suns are des­per­ate to se­cure Lynch to a long-term con­tract af­ter los­ing some of their most im­por­tant play­ers in re­cent years in­clud­ing Jaeger O’Meara and Dion Pres­tia.

The Suns will also likely part with former cap­tain Gary Ablett next month or he will re­tire from the AFL.

Lynch, who be­came co­cap­tain this sea­son, bat­tled in­jury this year and wants to cap­ture ca­reer-best form un­der a new coach in 2018 to help lift his club up the lad­der.

He has not played a sin­gle Fri­day night game or fi­nal in his first seven years at the Suns. Hawthorn leg­end Der­mott Br­ere­ton this year la­belled Lynch the No.1 player in the game.

AFL chief ex­ec­u­tive Gil­lon McLach­lan has raised the prospect of mak­ing Lynch an AFL am­bas­sador in Queens­land if he re-signs, adding to his earn­ing power.

It could help make Lynch up to an­other $50,000$100,000 a year on top of his Suns salary.

But Lynch will likely put off a de­ci­sion on his fu­ture un­til the back half of next sea­son as he fo­cuses on re­viv­ing the club’s on-field prospects af­ter an­other ter­ri­ble year.

They fin­ished second last on the lad­der with only six wins in 2017. Lynch said this week he was ex­cited about the chal­lenge fac­ing Gold Coast next year and wasn’t think­ing about his con­tract.

“I ac­tu­ally haven’t thought about it be­cause we don’t have a coach at the mo­ment, so I think that’s first and fore­most for a footy club – they’ll be sort­ing that out,” Lynch said.

“We’re look­ing for­ward to see­ing who gets an­nounced and it’ll be ex­cit­ing time for us.

“As a club and as a play­ing group, we were re­ally dis­ap­pointed with our year.

“Ob­vi­ously it’s not the stan­dards we set or any club sets, to be hon­est.

“We’ll ob­vi­ously get a new coach – that’ll be an ex­cit­ing time, a fresh start and look­ing for­ward to next year and see­ing what hap­pens.”

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