Tom Lynch made it back to Adelaide in time to be at the birth of his second child on Saturday.
Lynch travelled with his Crows teammates to Melbourne on Friday afternoon, but never made it to Etihad Stadium. The forward was awoken by a phone call in the early hours of Saturday morning alerting him to the fact that his partner, Courtney, had gone into labour.
Lynch made the decision to put his family first and miss the clash with Richmond, but had an anxious wait before getting on the first available flight back to Adelaide several hours later.
Coach Don Pyke awoke to the news Lynch was unavailable for Saturday’s game and made a phone call to a half-awake Riley Knight, who was promoted from travelling emergency to starting 22.
Another emergency, Nathan van Berlo, also sprung into action. ‘VB’ jumped on a flight to Melbourne to be on standby in the event that another player fell out of the side before the opening bounce.
The Crows veteran arrived at Etihad Stadium as the team bus pulled in and was greeted with cheers when he climbed onboard. Van Berlo couldn’t even stick around to watch the game, flying back to Adelaide to prepare for Sunday’s SANFL clash as soon as the team got through the warm-up unscathed.
Fortunately, Lynch arrived home with hours to spare and was there when baby Tayla was born at 12:28pm, weighing 3.32 kilograms. Tayla is a younger sister to the couple’s three-year-old son Koby.
The Crows players were told the news in the team meeting following the Club’s 36-point win over the Tigers. The applause could be heard from outside the change rooms.
Defender Kyle Cheney said the day had panned out well after a chaotic start.
“Tommy got the call at, I think, about half-past-two this morning. He would’ve had a nervous wait because the first flight out of Melbourne wasn’t until 7 o’clock,” Cheney said.
“He’s named her Tayla, so it might be a bit of a man crush on ‘Tex’ and I’m sure Tex will let Lynchy know that. I’m just praying that Tayla’s got a bit of red hair!”
Tayla is the second Crows baby to be born this week following the arrival of Club legend Mark Ricciuto’s sixth child, Tom, on Monday. Wingman David Mackay and his wife Sarah also announced that they are expecting their first child.