Lynch overcomes it all to achieve her Nationals goal

OAKLEIGH Chargers midfielder, Katie Lynch has been riddled with injuries since 2015, but has battled through to take her place in Vic Metro’s Under 18 Championships side.

She only managed four games during the TAC Cup Girls season, but still earned a plane ticket to the Gold Coast for the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. Lynch says she is grateful for the opportunity and hopes she can make the most of it.

“It (getting selected) was probably one of my goals coming into this season so being here is good,” she said.

She has made the most of her opportunity so far, as she was one of the best players against Vic Country in Metro’s first hit-out in the Championships. But to get to this point has been extremely difficult for Lynch, as an ankle injury in 2015 halted her promising sporting career. This carried through to 2016 but it got worse last year, where she endured one of the most challenging periods of her life.

“I had a bit of a rough patch last year with injury and didn’t get the chance to take the field with Oakleigh,” Lynch said. “It was a pretty confusing period. “I had different medicos telling me different things and it was just a bit hard. “But in the end, I played the club season last year so I felt better having played the club season and coming into this year. “It gave me a good warm-up.”

But this year was no easier, as Lynch battled school sport commitments and football commitments, as well as niggling injuries.

“I had a few problems (this year),” she said. “I had injuries bobbing up, just little niggles and then I also had the hard situation with school sport that takes priority sometimes so I missed the last four games. “I’m playing firsts netball with school so that was probably an issue there but hopefully I did enough to get myself out there.”

Not only has Lynch been a long-term footballer but she has also played netball for a while, admitting that she has loved to try her hand at different sports over the journey.

“I’ve played a fair few things,” the 18 year-old said. “Basketball was big and then I gave that up when I was about 11 or so and started up netball. “I’m still playing netball at the moment for school as well so those three (including footy) are the main sports.”

Like many other TAC Cup Girls players, there is the hurdle of Year 12 studies among this hectic year of football. But Lynch says she is balancing it as best she can, as she tries to push herself further with sport.

“I’m doing Year 12 at school at Carey (Grammar),” Lynch said. “It’s going well, it’s a tough year but just (I’m) trying to manage it.”

Her earliest memories of footy come from playing Auskick, and she has her dad and her brother to thank for instigating Lynch’s love for the sport.

Fast forward to 2018, and the Chargers midfielder is still passionate about taking opportunities like these. Her philosophy surrounding opportunities is simple yet effective, as she gets ready to pack her bags and jet off for a chance to lift the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships trophy.

“I’m all about opportunities,” Lynch said. “When the opportunity comes, you’ve obviously got to take it.”

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