From a career at the crossroads to Collingwood’s leadership group, Lynden Dunn is enjoying a remarkable footballing renaissance.
Back in 2016 Dunn was unwanted by Melbourne and looked unlikely to find a new home during trade week, yet 18 months later he is leading an exciting young Collingwood defence and has fulfilled his own Queen’s Birthday redemption story by physically dominating old teammates in a season-defining Collingwood victory.
From the first minute on Monday Dunn’s attack on the football was unmatched, staunchly defending the last line with bone-crunching tackles, goal-saving interceptions and clutch spoils.
Throughout the game his intensity inspired, with desperate tackles on Melbourne leaders Christian Petracca and Max Gawn visibly lifting teammates and deflating opponents.
His efforts helped Collingwood end Melbourne’s six-game winning streak and held Jesse Hogan goalless, who was until then the only player except Will Hoskin-Elliot to kick a goal every game this season.
After the game Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley praised the defensive partnership Dunn and young defender Matthew Scharenberg have developed.
“He and Dunny have been able to hold the fort really well against all comers,” Buckley said. “They seem to be a pair that work well together.”
Since moving to the Magpies at the end of 2016 for picks 47 and 51 Dunn has played 29 of a possible 34 games, been promoted to the leadership group and accepted an assistant coaching role on Collingwood’s VFLW team.
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