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The next Bob Murphy? Dogs rookie staying grounded

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 25: Brad Lynch of the Bulldogs  celebrates during the VFL Grand Final match between Footscray Bulldogs and Casey Scorpions at Etihad Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
Brad Lynch celebrates the 2016 VFL premiership
It's great to be compared to Bob, but I've got a long way to go to be as good as him
Brad Lynch

FOR A player desperately coveting a senior debut, Western Bulldogs rookie Brad Lynch's chances have received a major boost with an informed comparison to club great Robert Murphy.

When Bulldogs backline coach Steven King was asked about Lynch recently, he had no hesitation in likening the second-year West Australian to the brilliant defensive playmaker due to his "kicking skills and lightning speed."

Just as proficient on both feet, the 19-year-old isn't getting carried away with such high praise, as he's well aware how hard it will be to break into a premiership-winning line-up that possesses some of the game's best running defenders.

"If I could be become half the player Bob Murphy is now, I'd be rapt to have a career like that," Lynch told AFL.com.au.

"It's great to be compared to Bob, but I've got a long way to go to be as good as him.

"I'd love to play half-back (in the seniors), but the way Bob, Jason Johannisen, Shane Biggs and Matthew Boyd are going at the moment, it's going to be hard for me to get a crack.

"But the aim is to get elevated and play a senior game this year."

While he only racked up nine possessions across half-back in the Dogs' round one JLT Community Series clash with Melbourne, his output was at 100 per cent efficiency.

The offensive nature of the game has always come naturally to him, but what Lynch really hangs his hat on is the improvements he's made on the defensive side of his game.

Like Murphy, he arrived at the Whitten Oval physically undeveloped, but hard work in the gym has added six kilograms to his athletic frame and those advances have helped with him the physicality of the game.

"I didn't get a lot of the ball (against Melbourne), but my defensive acts were good," he said.

"I had a really good chat with Steven King after the game and it was a really even performance.

"I've added a stronger defensive side to my game this pre-season, because last year I was more offensive.

"It's starting to pay off in games and I'm glad 'Kingy' has helped me there."

Being drafted into a successful environment has helped Lynch settle in Melbourne. He was part of the Dogs' VFL premiership winning team in 2016 and then watched on with delight as the senior team claimed it's first flag in 62 years.

The Mandurah native's only gripe is his adopted city's climate isn't as warm as what he's accustomed to.

"I love Melbourne, but I still haven't got used to the weather and I've been here nearly 18 months," Lynch said.

"But it has been surreal what we have achieved as a club last year.

"I still can't believe it."