Cornes whacks Lynch over walkout
PORT Adelaide great Kane Cornes has blasted Tom Lynch for his leadership and performance after confirmation on Thursday the Gold Coast co-captain will leave the Suns at the end of the year.
The worst kept secret in footy was let out on Thursday when Lynch told Suns officials he would be seeking a move to Melbourne for season 2019 after eight years in Queensland, prompting the club to strip him of the captaincy he shared with Steven May.
Cornes blasted Lynch, accusing him of being a poor leader this season and letting his teammates and the entire organisation down. He was particularly upset at Lynch meeting with Melbourne clubs while he was in the Victorian capital receiving treatment for an injured knee.
"The on-field performance tells only half the tale. Most alarming has been his behaviour away from the footy field," Cornes said on SEN Mornings.
"It's no secret that Lynch has been thinking about leaving the Suns for some time.
"Why did Lynch accept the captaincy, knowing his main focus this year was working out where his future lied?
"There's little doubt that he's let his teammates down that put their trust in him as the captain of their footy club.
"It's also unfathomable that the skipper, whilst in Melbourne rehabbing his knee, was caught out for the second time that we know of meeting with one of his suitors, Collingwood.
"The fact his current club, the one he's captain of, knew nothing about - 2018 has been a poor example of leadership from Lynch in every way."
Lynch has been the Suns' shining light up forward, kicking 44 goals in 2017 to go with 66 majors the year before. But the 25-year-old - hampered by a knee injury that has limited him to just 10 games this season - has been well below his best in 2018, a fact that didn't escape Cornes.
"Tom Lynch's performance as captain of an AFL club in 2018 has been one of the most disappointing examples of leadership by a captain in recent times," Cornes said.
"His output on the ground has been underwhelming to say the least.
"He's averaged just two tackles a game and just over one contested mark before a knee injury ended his season.
"Hardly stats worthy of a highly paid captain who should be playing life-or-death football for his struggling club."
Speculation had been rife for much of the season Lynch would leave the glitter strip and the heat only intensified after Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley publicly admitted the Pies had met with him.
Hawthorn and Richmond are also in the hunt for Lynch's services next year.
- Justin Chadwick, AAP