NORTH Melbourne plans to use its final list spot on new development coach Tom Lynch, but is expected to wait until closer to the Pre-season Supplemental Selection Period deadline before executing the paperwork.
With players also fighting for spots at Carlton, Essendon, Gold Coast, Hawthorn, St Kilda, Sydney and West Coast, clubs have until March 9 to finalise their lists.
The Kangaroos have invited former Melbourne defender Marty Hore to train over the pre-season, but it is understood North Melbourne will sign former Adelaide and St Kilda forward Lynch.
The 31-year-old arrived at Arden Street at the start of pre-season in November after playing 158 games for Adelaide and six for St Kilda after being drafted by the Saints with pick No.13 in the 2008 NAB AFL Draft.
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As reported by AFL.com.au last September, the plan has been to add Lynch to the rookie list in order to not include his salary in the soft cap, which has been slashed since the start of the pandemic.
Port Adelaide made the same move when they signed former Collingwood premiership defender Tyson Goldsack as a rookie, where he combined games in the SANFL with his role as a development coach at Alberton.
It is understood that Lynch isn’t expecting to play AFL football in 2022, but given this season is could be hit by COVID-19 for a third year in a row, he remains a live possibility of playing senior football for a third AFL club.
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The Victorian played 12 games last season and averaged 25 disposals across the final three rounds of the season to show he can still perform at the level, if required by David Noble.
Lynch is set to play some games in the VFL alongside former No.3 draft pick Dom Tyson, who has remained at Arden Street as a playing assistant coach after being delisted by the Kangaroos last year following three injury-plagued seasons. Lynch will work closely with North's young forwards in the state league as part of his development role.
With the future of inside midfielder Jed Anderson still up in the air given his current vaccination status, North Melbourne's list management team could still provide Hore with an AFL lifeline by the SSP deadline, or via another avenue if clubs are provided with access to more players to cope with widespread COVID infections in 2022.
Hore was unlucky to be delisted by Melbourne at the end of last season after missing all of 2021 due to a knee reconstruction. He played 14 games in his first year at the Demons in 2019 but endured a nightmare final two seasons at the club.
The 25-year-old, who won back-to-back best and fairest awards for Collingwood's VFL side before Melbourne drafted him in 2018, was offered the train-on position with the Kangaroos as part of an agreement to sign with North Melbourne's VFL team for 2022.