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Tommy Walsh's long awaited debut to come

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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.

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Tommy Walsh's long awaited debut to come | 3 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Tommy Walsh\'s long awaited debut to come
Authored by: Michael Christiansen on Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 10:15 pm ACST

The Swans ins and outs are interesting this week.

In the Irish Gaelic convert, the Canadian Rugby convert and the Sydney Rugby convert.

Out, the QLD junior basketball rep, the WA ruckman from Mukinbudin and the son of a Latvian mother recruited from Dandenong.

Anyone who disputes the cultural diversity of AFL (the league - not the code) footy even though it's a 'single nation' elite league should perhaps take note.

Great to see Pyke back - very bad timing when injured last year, and competed/rucked well in a crucial Rnd 22 game to ensure the Swans hosted a 1st week final.  He partnered Mumford in the ruck in the two finals for a 5 pt win over Carlton and a 5 pt loss to the Bulldogs.  Having fought back into the side in Rnds 6 and 7 in 2011, he got injured in that last game ironically in which he'd managed 2 goals up forward (his best 'offensive' return) only to loose all momentum.

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Tommy Walsh\\\'s long awaited debut to come
Authored by: Troy Thompson on Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 10:21 pm ACST

Longmire said today Pyke, who played two matches last season for the Swans before being sidelined with a quad injury, has made significant improvements in his game over the last month.  “Pyke’s form has been improving every week and he played a really good game last week,” Longmire said.  “We said at the start of the year that we needed a group of ruckmen to get through an AFL season and we’ve used a few different combinations in the ruck this year.

“That’s why we’ve been able to put Pykey in this week and hopefully he gives us a really good, strong contest against Mark Jamar, who is a talented ruckman for Melbourne.”

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Tommy Walsh\\\\\\\'s long awaited debut to come
Authored by: Michael Christiansen on Saturday, May 19 2012 @ 07:36 pm ACST

and so Pyke get's through his first game back - Jamar obviously hit out wise the dominant big man - but Pyke got 24 hit outs, and the Swans won by 101 pts. I presume he did his job to compete.

Tommy Walsh getting game one out of the way with 14 disposals, 6 marks and a couple of goals.  Also listed on the AFL website amongst the best.  Gotta be happy with that as a debut. 

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