Tommy Walsh's long awaited debut to come
Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 09:04 am ACST
Contributed by: Troy Thompson
Perhaps it was the rapid debuts of Marty Clarke for Collingwood and Michael Quinn for Essendon that set the expectations high for Irish recruits. They made their AFL debuts after being at their clubs only months after arriving from Ireland.
But for 24 year old Tommy Walsh it has been a long waiting game as his chance to debut at AFL level never came at St Kilda. Whether it was a matter of the timing never quite being right, or that Ross Lyon did not have confidence in the Irishman - in the two years at Saint Kilda he was confined to the VFL.
After deciding he wanted to be traded to Sydney, possibly after a little advice from his former county Kerry team mate Tadhg Kennelly, he did play in the NAB Cup for the Swans (as he did with the Saints in 2011). But still his proper AFL debut has not come and has left his supporters wondering if it ever would.
But now after watching almost the first third of the season from the sidelines and playing in the Swans reserves team in the NEAFL his time has finally come. The big blonde Kerry lad will this morning front the press with Swans coach John Longmire to announce he will debut against Melbourne at the MCG this Saturday. He will be wearing the number 17 that Kennelly carried for 178 games at the Swans. We hope that he has the luck of the Irish and goes a long way at the top level.