CARLTON midfielder Sam Walsh has been rewarded for his record-breaking first AFL season, taking out the 2019 NAB AFL Rising Star award.
Walsh becomes Carlton’s first male winner of the award since its inception back in 1993.
The Blues now boast both Rising Stars after Madison Prespakis was named the AFLW NAB Rising Star earlier this year.
Drafted with pick No.1 from the Geelong Falcons in the 2018 NAB AFL Draft, Walsh has made an instant impact at the elite level having showcased one of the greatest debut seasons of all time.
The 19-year-old broke the record for the most disposals in a player’s first AFL season with 554, surpassing Toby Greene’s effort of 539 back in 2012.
Walsh found his feet quickly at AFL level, earning a Round 1 debut against Richmond where he picked up 24 disposals and four clearances at the MCG in front of a crowd of 85,000.
He went on to play every game in 2019 with the Blues, averaging 25 disposals, five marks, three tackles and 320 metres gained.
A class act and now the @AFLPlayers Best First Year Player. @samwalsh_18, you’re a star. #BoundByBlueWalsh wins AFLPA Best First Year Playerwww.carltonfc.com.au7228:08 PM – Aug 29, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy77 people are talking about this
Carlton Senior Coach David Teague said the Club was thrilled to see Walsh reap the rewards of such a consistent and strong season.
“Walshy impressed the whole club as soon as he walked through the doors at Ikon Park: his training intensity and appetite to learn and grow as a player was clear for us all to see from day one,” Teague said.
“At just 19 years of age, he would be up there with the best trainers I have seen and that allows him to prepare well week in, week out – that’s why he was so consistent this season.
“This is just the beginning for Walshy, he has a really good head on his shoulders, and we look forward to seeing him continue to develop, get his job done and earn a successful career here at the Carlton Football Club.”
On Thursday night Walsh was also voted by his peers across the competition as the AFLPA Best First Year Player.