ALL-IRELAND WINNING Kerry footballer Tommy Walsh could be in line to make his senior AFL debut in the near future after he was promoted to the St. Kilda senior list by coach Ross Lyon.
The 23-year-old, who moved Down Under in 2009, has been named as one of three emergency players for the Saints’ trip to Fremantle on Saturday afternoon.
Although Walsh will need one of his team-mates to drop out of the panel in order for him to be promoted to the matchday squad, the speed of his elevation to senior status is an encouraging sign of the progress which he has made so far in his first full season with the club.
The Tralee native spent last season working with Sandringham, St. Kilda’s junior affiliate in the Victorian Football League, aware that it would take time to learn the ropes of a new sport before making the progression to the first team.
After bedding down in his new defensive role, Walsh was handed his first senior appearance during the pre-season NAB Cup in February, with Lyon seemingly anxious to supplement his squad with as many useful youngsters as possible.
“While ideally, we’d like more second- and third-year players to be in better form, these kids are exciting talents and you can see they have the tools to be long-term AFL players,” the Saints coach told The Australian newspaper following their win over local rivals the Melbourne Demons last weekend. ”They’re certainly part of our future.”
That win was only the Saints’ second victory in eight games this season, ending a three-game losing streak which has seen them drop to 13th place in the league.