Tom Lynch’s teammates want to cap off a career-best season from Gold Coast’s AFL captain-in-waiting by helping him win the Coleman Medal.
Lynch – who was hailed on Monday night by former Brisbane great Jonathan Brown as the best player in the AFL – is one of only three players still in realistic contention for the award.
He has kicked 57 goals so far this season – two behind Sydney’s Lance Franklin, and three behind West Coast’s Josh Kennedy, with four games to play.
Lynch confessed he was keeping one eye on the Coleman race – and given the Suns’ reasonably cushy run home, the 23-year-old’s status as the team’s go-to forward, and the fact the Swans and Eagles will have finals campaigns to focus on, there’s no reason he can’t do it.
Suns livewire Jack Martin said he’d love to see it happen.
“He hasn’t really mentioned it too much – he doesn’t speak about going out and kicking goals, he just wants to do the team thing,” Martin told AAP.
“But it would be nice for him to win that award.
“He’s a great leader for the football club, he’s had an outstanding year.
“If he goes out and plays his role for the team, the goals will come.”
Lynch is widely expected to succeed Gary Ablett as Gold Coast’s permanent skipper next year and has been the standout player for the Suns amid another miserable, injury-wrecked season.
He said he was “humbled” by the shock praise from Brown, who described him as one of the best contested markers he’s ever seen and ranked him ahead of the likes of Nat Fyfe and Patrick Dangerfield.
“He’s a bit biased towards the big forwards,” Lynch said.
“I’ve caught up with Browny over the years. He’s been great. He’s a great Queensland figure and he’s a champion player.
“I respect him highly. I followed him closely growing up.”
As for the Coleman?
“We’re obviously trying to win games and I’m worrying about that a lot more than the Coleman Medal,” he said.
“Kennedy and Franklin are ahead of me, I’ve got a bit of catching up to do to try and get them.”
COLEMAN MEDAL RACE: AS IT STANDS
60 goals: Josh Kennedy (West Coast)
59: Lance Franklin (Sydney)
57: Tom Lynch (Gold Coast)
THE RUN HOME
West Coast: Fremantle (away), GWS (away), Hawthorn (home), Adelaide (away)
Sydney: Port Adelaide (home), St Kilda (away), North Melbourne (away), Richmond (home)
Gold Coast: GWS (home), Essendon (away), Collingwood (away), Port Adelaide (home)