AFL Trade Period: Lynch closer to number one ruck role after landing in Hawks nest

Max Lynch
Max Lynch has found a new home at Hawthorn. Photo: Collingwood FC.

In the dying hours of this year’s trade period, Collingwood’s Max Lynch had his wishes fulfilled and successfully was traded to Hawthorn where he hopes to secure soon a prominent ruck position.

Lynch had requested a trade to Hawthorn, as he wanted a club that could offer him the position as the first ruckman.

The Magpies had expressed to Lynch that they would prefer for him to remain at the club but understood his desire to explore his options elsewhere. Ultimately, this resulted in the successful trade to Hawthorn in the final hours of the trade period.

Collingwood has received two future third-round draft picks, while they also hand over to the Hawks a future second and fourth draft pick with Lynch.

Lynch struggled to make his mark in Collingwood’s side, with Brodie Grundy occupying first ruck position, and Mason Cox and Darcy Cameron predominantly the second in the role when required.

With Cox and Cameron also used as Collingwood’s forwards, this limited Lynch’s game opportunities even more.

Lynch only managed three games in the black and white stripes despite being on Collingwood’s list since 2017: two this season, and his first in 2020.

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Does Lynch fulfil first-ruck ambition?

Lynch will need to be prepared to wait a little longer for the opportunity to be the number one ruckman at Hawthorn.

Currently, with Ben McEvoy still going strong, he’ll fulfill that role until he departs the club. For Lynch, it might be soon though as the Hawk’s veteran is expected to retire soon.

Ned Reeves, who compares in both age and almost in games (a career total of five for Reeves), looms as Lynch’s biggest competition for the role.

Reeves however is slightly more raw than Lynch, and still requires some time to develop into the role.

Although with fewer games under his belt, Lynch demonstrates a sense of confidence and readiness for the role that is more evident than Reeves.

With this in mind, and Jonathon Ceglar traded to Geelong as well in the trade period’s final hours, a second ruckman position for Lynch is looking more than likely, at least for the short term.

Lynch’s standout performance against Melbourne’s Max Gawn this year hints at what more there is on offer. He held himself strong in Collingwood’s 17 point win on the Queen’s Birthday clash. He recorded 15 disposals and 23 hit outs.

Filling Hawthorn’s ruck-forward void?

Lynch joins the Hawks as an option to play a ruck-forward role, something his new side has lacked since David Hale retired.

Should he consider such a role, Lynch has the determination and grit to become damaging in that position; and the opportunity for more game time will McEvoy remains at the club.

Although Hawthorn doesn’t necessarily lack forwards; boasting Luke Breast, Jack Gunston, and emerging tall forwards Mitch Lewis and Jacob Koschitzke, Lynch can easily play a supporting role to any of these key forwards.

Again, this requires time to develop into the role, which Hawthorn’s Head of Football Rob McCartney said was an “exciting prospect” of Lynch’s addition to the side.

The Hawks have faith that Lynch will fit their new direction and that his development will align with the club who will be challenging for success in 2022.

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