Magpie Dunn coping with AFL finals drought

Lynden Dunn is philosophical about not having played in an AFL finals series.
Lynden Dunn is philosophical about not having played in an AFL finals series.

Now he's broken one AFL grand final duck, Lynden Dunn is philosophical about trying to take care of the other.

The Collingwood defender is back in full training and is close to resuming playing through the VFL as he closes on an AFL return.

Dunn suffered a season-ending knee reconstruction last July, meaning he missed out on playing in Collingwood's barnstorming finals campaign and the epic grand final loss to West Coast.

He helped out in the coaches' box and incredibly, it was the first time Dunn had attended an AFL grand final.

At 196 games, he also has the longest AFL career among current players without a finals appearance and Dunn is sixth on the all-time list.

But Dunn doesn't want a finals game just for the sake of it. If it's his lot not to play in a grand final, then so be it - so long as he contributes to the team.

"It's not a stat I'm proud of, but I actually wouldn't change anything," he said of his no-finals streak.

"I don't know any different and the journey has been everything I would have dreamt.

"Hopefully I have the chance to play in a grand final before my time's up, but if I don't, that's okay."

Dunn said it was "surreal" finally attending an AFL grand final, saying it felt like watching his friends play in a local decider.

He also relished being a part of Collingwood's finals campaign.

"It was awesome - something I've never been part of as a player," he said.

"When I did my knee, I'm out - it didn't matter whether we finished with the wooden spoon or finished in the top four like we did.

"Sure, I would rather have been out there ... but I had some really good experience in the coaches' box, which I'm very thankful for.

"Having said that, I'm really keen to play finals with the boys."

Dunn noted he was far from the only Collingwood player to be hobbled by injury last season.

His good friend Tyson Goldsack made a speedy return from a knee reconstruction to play in the finals and Dunn said they supported each other during their injury recoveries.

Australian Associated Press