Walsh signs on

Walsh wastes no time, a Blue for the long term   The Carlton Football Club is delighted to announce Sam Walsh has committed his long-term future to remain in the Navy Blue.   Just days after being elevated to the co-vice captaincy alongside Jacob Weitering, the 21-year-old has today signed a four-year contract extension with the Club.   It will see Walsh continue his already stellar career at IKON Park until at least the end of 2026.  

Media are asked to please assemble outside Gate 2 and to contact Laura Grubisa on arrival.   “The decision could not have been easier for me – our club has a clear direction, strong leadership, as a playing group we know what we want to achieve and I want to do everything I possibly can to get us there,” Walsh said.   “From the moment I got drafted this football club has been amazing for me and my family, that includes our members and supporters, I am so grateful for how they’ve embraced me from day one.   “I’ve never taken for granted what it means to pull on that navy blue guernsey, it represents so much to so many people.

“We have a real focus to make Carlton people proud, earn respect back for this football club and everyone we represent, and I am very excited to be part of that, not only this season but for years to come.” Walsh’s impact at the football club has been felt the moment he was selected with the No.1 pick in the 2018 NAB AFL Draft, playing every one of a possible 61 games, while putting together the first three years of a career that would be arguably the equal of any player to have come before him.   An eye-catching debut season saw Walsh instantly become a key part of the Carlton midfield, etching his name into history as the Club’s first recipient of the NAB AFL Rising star, as well as the AFLPA and Carlton Best First-Year player.   In 2020 he proved consistency would be a trademark of his brilliance, winning the AFLCA Best Young Player.   It was last season though where Walsh would stamp his authority on the competition, doing so with incredible class and unmatched consistency.   Averaging just under 30 disposals, five tackles and five clearances a game, Walsh deservingly received a maiden All-Australian jacket.   It would be the first of many individual honours to come his way, including, at the age of 20, becoming the second youngest ever John Nicholls Medallist after Patrick Cripps (19) in 2015.   Walsh’s 30 votes on Brownlow Medal night also equalled the most of any Blue in history as he placed fourth in the count in just his third season.  

Carlton Head of List Management Nick Austin said Walsh’s already impressive on-field resume only tells half the story.   “Every accolade Sam has received since entering the AFL system has been earned – it all comes from his incredible work ethic and drive to not only make himself but everybody around him better,” Austin said.   “Sam’s on-field emergence has been clear for everyone to witness but it is his growth within the four walls of this football club which is something most people don’t see but he absolutely deserves credit for.   “As a leader, Sam is really driving that selfless philosophy of the playing group at the moment, which tells you a lot about his qualities as a person.   “To have Sam come to us and want to sign on for four additional years, before this season has even started, tells you everything you need to know about how invested he is in the direction this club is heading and how determined he is to see the Carlton Football Club earn success.   “We are delighted to have been able to re-sign Sam on a long-term deal so that our members and supporters can continue to enjoy seeing him evolve as a Carlton player and person over the coming years.”

SOURCE: carltonfc.com.au