The finals always bring with them a bit of melancholy.
When Lynden Dunn departed Melbourne at the end of 2016 after 165 games to join Collingwood the move did not seem to generate much reaction from fans of either club.
It was perhaps understandable given the trade was not exactly high profile. Dunn was traded to the Magpies along with pick 51, with the Demons receiving pick 47 in exchange.
After playing only four games in 2016 the Demons were happy for the defender to explore his options, and he agreed to a two-year deal at Collingwood. The Pies were keen on defensive reinforcements after the exits of Nathan Brown and Jack Frost.
After failing to win selection in the opening five games of the 2017 season, the former Demon has become a mainstay in the Collingwood backline, playing the last 17 games last year and thus far not missing a game in 2018.
The 31-year-old played a pivotal role against his former club in the Queen’s birthday clash this week. He did a brilliant job spending time on Jesse Hogan, who was kept goalless for the first time this season.
The Collingwood defensive unit is certainly working cohesively at present. The last five weeks have seen the opposition restricted to under 100 points per game.
The experience and leadership of Lynden Dunn to organise the back half and assist his teammates should not be undervalued.
Collingwood enter the bye this week sitting in sixth position and are well placed for a return to finals football for the first time since 2013. Remarkably it would represent the first finals appearance for Dunn since his AFL debut in 2006.
I certainly did not think I would be saying this two years ago, but the acquisition of Lynden Dunn has proven to be one of the bargains of the 2016 trade period, and the 31-year-old will rightfully earn a new deal for next season.