Oh Big Q! Say it ain’t so

Distraught. That’s the best way to sum up how I’m feeling trying to come to terms with my main man, my favourite, the people’s champ, the Big Q, leaving the Eagles’ under the free agency system to go to, of all places, Collingwood.

I’m just not sure I’m ever going to get my head around seeing Lynchy playing at AFL level in any other colours’ besides the blue and gold of the West Coast Eagles. I know I’m very biased on this topic towards the Big Q but I think it’s one of if not the saddest day in the history of the club and a poor decision to let him go where not enough was done to keep him.

209 games, 281 goals and the leading goalkicker in a premiership year in 06. One of the hardest workers at the club who’s had to earn everythng he’s gotten after fighting back from being dropped to the WAFL with his career in limbo on more than one occasion. I know you’ve got to look past all of that when making decisions in the cut and thrust of the AFL, but I believe Lynchy still had a very valuable role to play in the team and its forward structure for 2013. But back to that shortly.

The Big Q has been unheralded and underappreciated in his work and the role he’s played for the team. Over the last 3-4 years he has played a variety of roles filling in gaps as required for the good of the team. Going back to 2009 when the eagles’ were struggling and with a developing midfield I remember Lynchy being thrust into the role of onballer where he did an admirable job with some strong performances. While in the last few years upon his return to the team after a short exile in the WAFL he has re-invented himself as a mobile centre half forward who roams up the ground while also pinch-hitting in the ruck despite giving away considerable height to opposing ruckman. And he was by no means disgraced. Due to injuries we have also seen the great man thrown deep forward at times to be the key target in attack. For Lynch to be thrown around in all these roles and still perform at a high level and contribute to the team for the amount of time he has is harder than he’s been given credit for. It’s been said a lot recently that with Lynch in the forward line the Eagles were overstacked with talls in the front half and also with Lynch gone it would give Fraser McInnes a chance to play some games next year and develop quicker into a key forward and fulfill his potential. But after watching the Eagles all year I thought they looked better with Lynch on the team than without and a number of other eagle and non-eagles supporters have said the same. When it comes to the debate about the eagles being too tall in their front half, it’s worked on many occasions over the last 2 years and there’s no reason it wouldn’t of kept working.

I think the club has made a poor decision and what Woosha needed to do for next year was give the Q-stick a specific role to play and make his own, which I believe should’ve been at full forward. Send him deep with the specific role of being that big, powerful forward and you would’ve seen him flourish just like in 06 and leading the goalkicking again, kicking bags of eight like he did against Brisbane and the Doggies’ in the semi that year, with the glove coming off reguarly.

Going back to the forward structure. You would have Josh Kennedy playing at CHF leading up the ground and pushing back hard to goal, Darling in one pocket or with his versatility up on a half forward flank, Nicoski on the other with Lecras and Cox/Naitanui in the pockets. Josh Hill would lose his spot because I believe Lynch is more valuable in the forward line, but he could even still keep his spot with LeCras being able to play midfield where in my opinion he could be an elite midfielder. And if it’s not working with Lynch, he and JK could swap roles because we know Lynchy is more than capable of playing as a roaming CHF and the same with Kennedy as the deep forward taking strong marks closer to goal. All my main man needed was for Woosha to give him that specific role and back him in, but we can only wonder.

The only bloke on the Eagles’ list who had permission to take a mark outside 50 and have his back to goal, the trademark glove coming off and the classic celebration of the arm going up, finger pointing skywards, rocking back and forth. I always have and always will love Big Q, for he is the man, the people’s champ, the cult hero. Even though he’s at the pies’ me eyes will still light up watching him at work and I wish him all the best, knowing he’s going to do big things down at Collingwood backing up DJ (Jolly) and playing up forward. Bucks, Eddie,  Collingwood players and supporters, you’ve got a special one.

This will go down in my eyes as the saddest decision in the history of the WCE footy club. Love the Big Q.


  1. Brandon – I feel your pain. When Ablett left the Cats the world was all wrong for a few weeks.

    But let’s be honest. Lynch is now a hack. Once a player perhaps, now a hack. He couldn’t make the firts 22 by year’s end. No good. Collingwood deserves him.

    The big Q, the Q Stick, whatever. Does he get the footy? Not anymore.

  2. Brandon,

    if you want to make a positive out of it look at it from a Freo perspective.

    I am sure that they would see leaving West Coast for Collingwood would be a great leap forward.

  3. I really like the limited Free Agency that the AFL has introduced this year. It gives long time servants of a club the chance to pursue flag dreams (like Goddard to the Dons) or shore up their late career earnings (as I am sure Lynch is doing). You can get stale (like Goddard) or no longer fit into team plans (like Lynch) and long term contributors deserve the right to take what they see as the best opportunity to fulfil or enrich themselves.
    Love your passion Brandon, but on this one I don’t agree with the conclusion.
    The Tippet dummy spit (I know its not free agency) is the only prospective trade that worries me so far this year. I hope his self-centredness erodes the all for one ‘Bloods’ culture more than it gives them a forward marking target. I also think Tex Walker will be easier to contain without twin towers. All good for us.
    The rest of the trades are all win/wins in my opinion. Wellingham will be the icing on our premiership cake. Strength, speed and class to round out the frail (Gaff and Shuey) and the slow (Kerr and Priddis). Roll on 2013.

  4. Don’t fret, Brandon.

    We’ll look after him down at Lexus.

    But we’re changing his nickname to Leroy Lynch. Or Double Elle.

    And as for Dips’s assessment, this from a man who said Dayne Beams wasn’t much chop at the start of the year.

    Think you’ll find LL played in the Eagles last game (and a semi final at that), Dips. Which sorta makes him in their best 22.

  5. MOC – he didn’t play when there was no tomorrow. They didn’t include him. But the Pies will put him at CHF and hope. Sort of like what they did with Dawes.

    I don’t recall the Beams assessment. In fact I deny it. I want to read the hansard.

  6. Icing on the premiership cake PB?

    First you will need to buy some land , to clear to fields, to sow some wheat, to harvest, to make some flour…………………………………

  7. Beams was not good enough to play in the losing GF; but the next year was good enough to play in a losing PF. Is that improvement?

  8. Dips, you said it in response to Rick Kane’s complaint in round 1 that the Hawks win over the Pies was being downplayed because of the Pies “outs”, which included Beams.

    It stuck in my mind because you are usually so positive about the Pies :)

    Phanto – by any measure, Beams improved this year. Unlike Jimmy Bartel.

  9. Matt,

    the greatest wines improve to a state of such smooth aromatic deliciousness that they can go no further but the status quo remains indefinately.

    (Refer to Cats No 3 in 2011 GF. Simply succulent.)

  10. Cork taint?

  11. ‘Taint corked PB; and with the young Caddy Cat running around beside him he will have a bit more time to breathe and bring out some more of that fine quality.

  12. MOC – my comment on Beams was a non-core assessment.

  13. Brandon Erceg says

    Dips, Lynch is no hack. You’ll see at Collingwood, he’ll play the same role as Dawes anad make Dawes look like he was a waste of space and will be very similiar to Leroy Brown’s role in the 2010 premiership year.

    I don’t know about Wellingham, I think he’s a good player but to give up our first pick in the draft, I’m not sure he’s worth it at this point in time. I think he’s got some real potential and can improve and I hope he does to warrant giving up our first pick in the draft but at this point in time and if he were to line up for us tomorrow, I’d say he wasn’t worth the first pick in the draft, but lets hope he fulfills possible potential and can make a big impact for us.

    Not so sure on free agency. I like the face that it gives players who may be struggling at certain clubs a fresh chance where they’ll get games at another club (Byrnes to Melbourne) or for a player in the middle to end of their career who needs a change of scenery and can add to a team and their hopes of plaing finals (Lake to Hawks, Pearce to Freo, Chaplin to tigers). But I think the Goddard one is a case of what you don’t want to see through free agency. I used to really admire Goddard not just as a player but the way he came across as a person but since he’s form has dropped off in the last couple of years I reckon he’s shown a lot of disregard for the saints and not a lot of leadership which shows with his body language on the field and the way he’s handled himself with his contract off the field, and now he’s moved clubs for a better deal and more money. The other worrying thing about free agency is looking at the NBA and english premier league, where money just gets thrown at players and dream teams are assembled so the richer clubs can just buy their way to a champinship. The thought of free agency leading the AFL down that path scares me.

    The Big Q is not only a valuable player still, his value goes beyond that, he’s the people’s champ and he’s a big loss and forever missed. Love the Big Q

  14. Don’t worry about Dips Brandon, he’s just a big, sorry typo, he’s just a diminutive tease.

  15. Bloody Ercegs. I can never win an argument against them. The Avenging Eagle is not a lady for turning.
    I guess we’ll just have to see how the season turns out for both QL and SW. I do agree that I wouldn’t have given Pick 17 for SW if so many of our best players weren’t at the end of their careers. The Flag beckons and time waits for no player.

  16. The Fullback says

    “One of the hardest workers at the club who’s had to earn everything he’s gotten …”
    That’s gilding the lily a bit!!!
    Lynch went to school at Aquinas with Kerr where they dominated the local private schools competition – the Alcock Cup. My impression was he was so used to winning, and given his size, dominating that the idea of hard work was an after thought?
    I think the Big Q has made the right business decision in going to Collingwood for more money and a longer contract than the Eagles offered him.
    After all, he’s now invested in a clothing company and a farm! So, he might need the $$$ to sustain cash-flow if either of those industries flattened out?
    28 and 33 goals respectively from the last two years are hardly more than an average return for a big forward.
    The Eagles’ crowd will miss the Big Q but nowadays sentimentality is a luxury in footy.

  17. Brandon Erceg says

    Yes we will, I just hope I can bear seeing my man in collingwood colours. But I’ll be backing him in and watching him individually as intently as I watch the Eagles next year. A great result would be a win for eagles with the Big Q bagging eight.

    Yes the flag beckons but Sharrod Wellingham isn’t the type of player who brings you a flag. Don’t get me wrong I think he’s a valuable player who can play a big role in the midfield, especially if he can improve next year under Woosha and Scotty Burns’ guidance, but it’s not the same as getting a Lake to Hawthorn in my eyes. But I hope he has a big year and the eagle’s can get there, very positive about their chances.

    Thanks for the backing there too Phantom

  18. I’m not diminutive – I’m 5’6″

  19. Brandon Erceg says

    Cmon the Fullback.
    How can you suggest he’s not a hard worker and has just been so used to winning? He’s been sent back to the WAFL on a couple of occasions and had to fight for his spot back. He’s had to change from a big, key position forward, to an onballer for a while, to a mobile CHF who pinch hits in the ruck. This required him to shed around 5kg and shed his physique so he could play the new role and he did this at the same time as fighting for a spot after being dropped to the WAFL. Wouldn’t exactly say he’s used to success.

    And yes he’s only kicked 28 and 33 goals, but he was playing as a roaming CHF who spent a lot of time playing up the ground and as a pinch hitting ruckman in that time. The last time he played a full year as a true key position forward was in 06 when he kicked 65 goals.

    I don’t disagree that he’s made the right decision in terms of a contract in going to Collingwood, I’m saying the eagles have made the wrong decision and not done enough to keep him at the club.

    Makes me sad just talking about it.

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