Tom Lynch leaves the field after playing his last game for Adelaide on August 22, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

NORTH Melbourne is exploring adding delisted Adelaide forward Tom Lynch to its playing list as part of a development coaching role for 2022. understands the Roos have secured Lynch's services as a coach for next season after he was cut by the Crows in August.  

In addition, it could see the 31-year-old added to the Roos' rookie list which would see his wage consumed as a player and not the football department spending.  

It would be a similar move to that of Port Adelaide which listed development coach Tyson Goldsack as a rookie in 2021 while also playing SANFL.

Lynch is expected to play some games at VFL level next season to assist the mentoring of young emerging tall forwards Jacob Edwards and Charlie Comben. Richmond ruck/forward Callum Coleman-Jones is also expected to land at the Roos after requesting a trade in recent weeks.

Callum Coleman-Jones in action for the Tigers during the round 22 clash with Greater Western Sydney at Marvel Stadium on August 13, 2021. Picture: Getty Images

By being rookie listed, Lynch would also be eligible for AFL selection in a break glass in case of emergency scenario.

Players added as 'delisted free agents' during the off-season join the primary list so if Lynch was to be placed to the rookie list he would need to nominate for the draft and be selected in the Rookie Draft.

Lynch played 12 games this season including the final six matches and won the Crows' Phil Walsh Best Team Man Award at the best and fairest.

He averaged 25 disposals in his last three matches to prove he was still up to AFL level but was told he was no longer required at season's end as the Crows turned to youth.

Tom Lynch and David Mackay are chaired off after their last game for Adelaide on August 22, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Lynch was open to staying in Adelaide to pursue a coaching role with the Crows' SANFL team but decided to return home to Victoria.

Drafted by St Kilda at pick No.13 in the 2008 NAB AFL Draft, Lynch played six games for the Saints before crossing to the Crows at the end of 2011 and playing 158 matches.

He holds a close link to North Melbourne coach and former Crows football boss David Noble who was the Crows' list manager when he was traded to South Australia.

Lynch will also work closely with Roos forwards coach Heath Younie who spent eight years at the Crows in development from 2013-2020. Younie was the Crows' inaugural SANFL coach and elevated to head of development before joining Noble at Arden Street ahead of 2021.

The AFL's soft cap will rise slightly in 2022 to around $6.5million but remains well down on the $9.7million clubs were able to utilise in 2020.


It has prompted clubs to explore ways to pay coaching staff through the salary cap as the Power did this season. North Melbourne have flexibility on its playing list after a number of off-season decisions and other players in limbo.

Following the delistings of Dom Tyson and Taylor Garner and pending move of Robbie Tarrant to Richmond, the Roos currently have 31 contracted players on their primary list. Trent Dumont and Shaun Atley remain unsigned, while Coleman-Jones will soon land from the Tigers.

Clubs can have a maximum of 42 listed players (not including up to two Category B rookies), made up of 36-38 primary listed players and 4-6 Category A rookie listed players. Clubs must also take at least three players via the NAB AFL Draft this season which automatically join the primary list.

The Roos also have three rookies contracted for next season – Edwards, Kyron Hayden and Patrick Walker – with rookies Charlie Ham and Tom Campbell unsigned. Should they want extra rookie slots, they can be promoted to the senior list during the off-season. 

Rookies have roughly the first $85,000 of their wage paid outside of the salary cap with any extra money in a player's contract included in the salary cap.