Richmond’s Lynch fit, ready to fire in AFL opener

Anna Harrington |

Richmond’s Tom Lynch is ready for round one after making a full recovery from a foot injury.
Richmond’s Tom Lynch is ready for round one after making a full recovery from a foot injury.

Spearhead Tom Lynch has declared himself fit and ready to fire in Richmond’s AFL season opener against Carlton, putting the foot injury that limited his summer behind him.

Lynch had pre-season foot surgery and then had to build fitness, but he played three quarters against Melbourne in Richmond’s final scratch match.

The imposing Tiger, who booted 63 goals last year, didn’t expect to have to manage the injury throughout the season.

“Feeling really good. It was great to play three quarters against Melbourne and it was a good intro into round one. So I’m fully fit and good to go,” he told reporters.

“I was pretty confident (of playing round one). The longer it went, obviously time was getting away from me a bit but then I turned the corner pretty quickly and progressed through. 

“So I was always fairly confident that we got the surgery done with plenty of time to get up for round one.

“It’ll be fine. I’ve done a fair bit of work with Jack Graham in the rehab group, we did a lot of (kilometres) together. So I think it’ll be fine – I’ll be like a normal player and just train as much as I can.”

Lynch was confident Jayden Short (calf) could get up for Thursday’s blockbuster at the MCG after returning to main training and hoped Dion Prestia (pec) and Graham (toe) could join him.

He also backed recruit Tylar Young to limit either Charlie Curnow or Harry McKay if called upon to debut.

Lynch welcomed the prospect of Dustin Martin spending more time inside 50 after some ominous moments in attack in pre-season.

“He’s (Martin’s) played deep forward quite a few times – so Jack (Riewoldt) and I have to get out of the 50 for him, clear it out,” Lynch said.

“But he’s obviously a superstar and we’re rapt to have him up and firing and looking forward to what he’ll produce Thursday night.”

The Tigers have bolstered their midfield with ex-Giants Tim Taranto and Jacob Hopper and Lynch expected the pair to build chemistry with Richmond’s forwards.

“We’ll work on that connection,” he said.

“They looked good in the practice matches, and I’m sure we’ll, as a team, build on that in the coming weeks.”

Lynch was confident there was enough improvement left in Richmond for them to become challengers again.

“Obviously Taranto and Hopper have come in but we’ve got a lot of young guys that got exposed to senior footy last year like Judson Clarke, Tyler Sonsie, Sam Banks hasn’t played yet,” Lynch said.

“So we’ve got a lot of youth still to come in and really push us up.”