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Gold Coast Suns start preparing for life without Lynch

Gold Coast’s Tom Lynch slots another of his eight goals against Carlton in Round 2. The Suns’ co-captain looks set to leave the club. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Gold Coast Suns start preparing for life without Lynch

Gold Coast is preparing for life without Tom Lynch, with the star forward seemingly heading for free agency when his contract expires at the end of the season.

The 25-year-old has been a prolific presence in this Suns team since making his debut in 2011, kicking 254 goals in 131 appearances, including 14 goals in six games this season, eight of them coming in a stunning performance against Carlton.

The Suns’ season all but ended the moment Lynch sustained a knee injury in round six, which will now keep him out of action for the rest of the campaign.

As Gold Coast resigns itself to another early end to a season, it now looks as though Lynch has played the final game of his Suns’ career.

Having undergone knee surgery in Melbourne, Lynch is due to return to Queensland in order to hold talks with the Suns.

The 25-year-old is expected to inform the club he won’t be signing a new deal, with the likes of Richmond, Collingwood and Hawthorn already lining up to sign Lynch at the end of the season.

The Suns will likely receive a compensation pick after their natural first-round selection, but Lynch’s departure will leave a big gap in a team that is hardly packed with top level players. While Lynch has kept his counsel regarding his future, it’s now looking almost certain that this will be his final season on the Gold Coast.

Gold Coast’s struggles this season are highlighted by the fact the club is now as short as 9/2 on AFL betting odds to finish with most defeats to their name this season; currently second on that list behind a Carlton side with just one win all year.

While the Suns have won four games this season, their upset win over Sydney last weekend broke an 11-game losing streak, most of which Lynch has missed through injury.

Whether or not Lynch would have made enough of a difference to turn some of those losses into wins is a moot point at this stage, but it doesn’t hide the fact that without him this is a very average AFL side.

One piece of good news for the club has been co-captain Steven May’s announcement that he isn’t actively looking to leave the Gold Coast, despite his contract expiring at the end of next season.

The key defender has been linked with a number of AFL clubs, most notably Collingwood, but May has insisted he isn’t going to shop himself around in a bid to leave the Suns.

Another season like this could see May change his mind, though, and the Suns will need to prove they are moving forward, even if it’s a small step, otherwise their co-captain might feel he can’t afford to waste more of his career with a club not going anywhere.

The same could be said for a number of other players on the Gold Coast who have been sounded out by rival clubs. Which makes next year a critical one for the club’s future.

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