The 24-year-old former All-Ireland-winning Kerry footballer enjoyed a day to savour, kicking two goals in the Swans’ emphatic 101-point demolition of Melbourne Demons at the SCG, a result that pushes the club back into the top four in the AFL.
For Walsh it was the realisation of a dream, having moved to Australia in late 2009 to pursue an AFL career when he joined St Kilda before moving to the Swans last October. Not only was he named as one of the Swans’ best performers against Melbourne, club legend and former Kerry footballer Tadhg Kennelly also predicted a great future for him.
But the Tralee man won’t get carried away.
“When I came over here two-and-a-half years ago that was the aim — to play in an AFL game. I was lucky enough to realise that dream on Saturday night but that was only one game, hopefully it’s the first of many,” Walsh said.
To make his AFL debut even more special, his father Sean and brother Barry John were in the SCG to watch Walsh kick 13 points (two goals and one behind). And before the game Kennelly was on hand to present his former team-mate with his No 17 jersey, the same one he wore during his successful years with the Swans.
“It was just a day I will never forget,” said Walsh, “It’s surreal to think of two Kerry lads out in Australia wearing the same number for such a great club,” Walsh said.