Lynch ready for ‘footy-mad‘ Melbourne
WELCOME to footy in Melbourne, Tom.
Lights, cameras - lots of them - and action.
Key forward Tom Lynch is finally a Tiger, after Gold Coast elected not to match the seven-year deal put the restricted free agent's way from Punt Road.
And with a swish of the pen, it was the final step in what has been a long journey to yellow and black for Lynch after a year of speculation about where his future lay.
When he finally landed, it was the attention that struck him first, with the shock of finding six television cameras, even more of the still variety and more journos waiting to hear from him on a Monday afternoon.
"There's a fair few more media here, for starters," he said of the biggest difference between Metricon Stadium and Melbourne.
It will take some getting used to, he admitted, the balance between the football microscope - especially given he is living in the sporting microcosm of Richmond - and life as he has known it for the last seven years, virtually outside the bubble.
"I think I'll be OK," Lynch said, a bit nervous with the tags on his Tigers polo freshly torn off.
"I've grown up down in Sorrento and I know what a footy-mad state this is, and it's great to be a part of it."
The escape will be close, if he needs it. Expect to see the Jeep traversing Peninsula Link a bit next season.
"I'm sure I'll probably head down to Sorrento in the winter months," he said.
"It's pretty quiet down there, and I'll probably escape it to some extent. That will be nice only being an hour from home instead of being a plane ride away. I'm looking forward to that."
The 25-year-old's relief that the saga surrounding his future was over was evident, his sigh evident in saying "we can move on".
Despite all of the to-ing and fro-ing, Monday marked his first trip to Punt Road.
He rather liked the surrounds - that was evident, too, in glorious sunshine - but picked himself up on one famous Tiger phrase.
"For the first time I had a walk through just then, so it's great," he said.
"(Coach) Dimma (Hardwick) showed me around, and it will be awesome … black and gold everywhere, yellow and black sorry, so it's great."
He is determined to be on the MCG in Round 1 after a modified pre-season due to knee surgery, having been welcomed via text message by a handful of teammates.
"The knee's going well and I had a good result with the surgeon the other day," he said.
"I'm probably still a month away from running but I think I will be well and truly right to go for Round 1.
"I'll be a little bit slow early days, but I'll pretty much start running. After Christmas, I should really be ramping itup."
From there, Lynch said he hoped to help the Tigers build on what had been a fruitful past two seasons.
"From the outside looking in, Richmond have something very special so it's great to be a part of it," he said.
"I think every year you want to win the premiership.
"Obviously they've had a great last two years with a premiership and prelim final, so I think it'd be great to help with thatand hopefully we go well next year."