Alastair Lynch

From Academic Kids

Alastair Lynch (born 19 June, 1968) is an Australian Football League full forward from Burnie, Tasmania who had a highly-successful career, despite chronic illness and injury.

Missing image
Lynch marks under pressure against Shane Wakelin of Collingwood in 2003
He began his senior football career at Fitzroy in 1988. He was an intimidating player in defence even from the beginning with the ability to take a strong mark and lay a heavy tackle. However, he was not noted for his goalkicking at this time.

He left Fitzroy after the 1993 season to join the then struggling Brisbane Bears who were coached by Premiership coach Robert Walls at the time. The term of his contract, ten years, was unprecedented and at the time considered by outsiders to be a great risk for the club.

Lynch came full of promise to the Bears but could not deliver his best on most occasions due to injury in 1994 and chronic fatigue syndrome which sidelined him for the entire 1995 season. Some commentators believe that if Lynch had played that season, then the Bears could have won a premiership.

His return the following season was shaky with him playing at full forward and at full back when needed. However, forwards of the quality of Tony Lockett remarked that Lynch was one of his toughest ever opponents at full back.

When Fitzroy merged with the Bears after the 1996 season to form the Brisbane Lions, Lynch was made a semi-permanent forward but was unable to perform at his peak for the next two seasons due to minor recurrence of his illness.

A new beginning for Lynch and the Lions came in 1999, under champion coach Leigh Matthews. He played some games in defence but usually at full forward. Improvements in his strength, kicking for goal and positioning during marking contests made him one the most feared forwards in the competition.

Endured great success for the 2001, 2002, and 2003 seasons becoming a mutiple goal kicker against the game's most prominent fullbacks including Stephen Silvagni, Matthew Scarlett and Shane Wakelin from Collingwood, Brisbane's on-going rivals. Lynch now has played in three winning premierships. In 2004, he was the competition's oldest player at 35 years of age.

Lynch retired after the 2004 AFL Grand Final in controversial circumstances. Straining a hamstring early in the match, he reacted to some typical sledging from Port Adelaide Football Club's Darryl Wakelin by swinging several punches. Despite none of them appearing to connect with Wakelin and the fact that he had already retired, Lynch was heavily fined and suspended for ten matches by the AFL tribunal. This added salt to the wound of losing missing out on a record-equalling fourth consecutive premiership for the Lions.

Despite this disappointing end to his career, Lynch will be remembered as a player who overcame great adversity to become one of the premier players with one of the greatest teams the game of Australian Rules Football has seen.

Lynch is now enjoying his retirement, and is spending it as a match commentator on Brisbane Lions matches with Triple M radio as well as an occasional television commentary role with the Fox Footy Channel.


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