Lynch making most of Royal opportunity
New East Perth recruit Aidan Lynch admits he’s still learning the words to the club theme song, but is enjoying life at his second WAFL club as he prepares for a return to Arena Joondalup to face his old side West Perth on Saturday.
Lynch, who played 72 games for the Falcons from 2015-19 has starred in his first two matches as a Royal, averaging 30 disposals and a goal a game as part of a strong midfield group.
The 25 year old was lured to the club in the off-season by now departed football manager Ward Harris, with the promise of more opportunity at league level.
“East Perth were more convincing in the role they were going to give me in the best 22 from week in week out,” Lynch told Sports Drive on Wednesday.
“I felt that my football needed a change, I felt like I slowed maybe the last two or three years at West Perth and a change of scenery to the old rival may be the thing that I needed.
“It’s made me work hard for my spot to fit in at East Perth, but it’s been a good two weeks and it’s been a good extended pre-season. I’m loving my time at East Perth at the moment.”
Lynch, who won the Prendergast Medal for best and fairest in the WAFL Reserves competition in 2014 in the red and blue of the Falcons, said he has no ill feeling towards his former club and the move was all about more league football, having only played 14 games over the previous two seasons.
“It was plain opportunity. I loved my time at West Perth but selfishly I thought I needed a change to get the best out of myself and out of my career,” he said.
“There were some nerves (in moving) definitely, but they were the only other club that contacted me, so it was only between East and West Perth and I chose East.”
Despite playing eleven Perth derbies as a Falcon, Lynch’s allegiances in one of WA football’s longest traditional rivalries has now changed hands.
“The past four or five years before last year there wasn’t potentially the rivalry of old that people had grown up with and known for nearly a hundred years because of the Eagles alignment,” he said.
“In my time at West Perth I certainly felt some resentment to East Perth, but now that I’m at East Perth the resentment and hate goes towards West Perth, I’m an East Perth man now. Hopefully on the weekend we can get a win.”
Lynch’s younger brother Conal remains at West Perth, with the siblings set to play against each other for the first time having previously played together at the Falcons.
“I’m actually looking forward to it more playing against him, it will be the first time we have ever played against each other,” he said.
“We trained against each other in separate groups in our time at West Perth, but I’m certainly looking forward to it. It would be even more special if we win, to hold that over him.”
With spots in the top four at a premium in a shortened season, the match looms as a potential circuit breaker for fourth spot on the table, after both derbies in 2019 were decided by less than two goals.
Lynch was confident the Royals trip North would be a successful one.
“I believe in my team and believe we can win, certainly. I feel that we probably should be 2-0. We started slowly against Perth, giving them a five-goal head start. It left us with too much to do and we weren’t able to win in round two,” he said.
“The second and third quarters against East Freo (in round three) was very promising for us. That is how we know we can play. We believe if we bring that for four quarters, we can come away with the win.”
You can hear the only Perth derby for 2020 on 91.3 Sport FM on Saturday from 2:00 PM, with bouncedown at 2:30.
IMAGE: East Perth FC Facebook.