Tasmanian Football Legends

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EIGHTIES TASMANIAN FOOTBALL LEGENDS

ALASTAIR LYNCH

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Alastair Lynch is a champion key position utility player, a former co-captain of the Lions, and one of the AFL's truly elite players at his best, who retired after playing his 17th AFL season in 2004. He achieved his goals of playing in a premiership not once but three times with the mighty Brisbane Lions, team widely regarded as the best of all time.

Brisbane beat Essendon in 2001, Collingwood in 2002, and Collingwood again in 2003. The team made it to a fourth consecutive grand final in 2004 but lost to South Australian side Port Power. Lynch retired immediately after the game.

Alastair Lynch playing for Hobart in 1987 Alastair Graeme Lynch was born on the 19th June 1968 in Burnie on the Tasmanian north-west coast. He was a product of Burnie High School and played U17s and U19s at nearby Wynyard before joining Hobart in 1986-87. There, he was coached by the legendary Peter Hudson , who was a close friend and former Tasmanian junior teammate of his father Graeme "Grunter" Lynch. He missed Tasmanian Teal Cup (U17) selection but turned out to be a bargain pick-up for Fitzroy at No 50 in the 1988 AFL National Draft where, between 1988-93, he played 120 games and kicked 173 goals.

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Lynch joined the Lions in 1988 and in six years played 120 of a possible 130 games. Equally at home in attack and defence, with blistering pace, enormous strength and the athletic capability of matching anyone in the game, he won the 1991 AFL "Mark of the Year", was Fitzroy vice-captain 1991-92-93, Runner-Up in the Lions B&F in 1991, and 3rd in 1992. Then, in a sensational 1993, he was a runaway winner of the Fitzroy B&F, topped the club’s goal-kicking list, was vice-captain of the Tasmanian State of Origin side, won All-Australian selection at fullback, and was rated by award-winning Herald Sun football writer Mike Sheahan among the top five players in the game.
Still, frustrated by Fitzroy’s on-going financial problems and the lack of reasonable expectation that he would fulfil his life-long dream of playing in the AFL finals in the near future, he joined Brisbane in what was the AFL recruiting coup of the 1993-94 summer. Sadly, he played just 13 games in his first season with the Bears due to two broken collarbones and knee surgery, but even then he stamped his undeniable class on what at the time was an emerging side in the AFL with a string of match-winning performances at centre half forward.
In September 1994 he contracted a mystery virus that, after a prolonged period was eventually diagnosed as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Barely able to get out of bed at times, frustrated as much by the medical profession’s inability to treat this shocking illness as the condition itself, he missed the 1995 season. Inadvertently, the ever-compassionate Lynch became a flagship for the growing CFS community, helping via his national profile to attract attention and thereby give credibility to the illness.
He made an inspirational comeback to football in 1996 to provide a further shining light for all CFS patients, and although still not 100%, he played 18 of a possible 25 games, was the club's leading goal-kicker and finished 10th in the Club Champion Award.
The historic Bears-Fitzroy merger brought together his two AFL clubs, and not inappropriately he was appointed co-captain with Michael Voss of the “new