Walsh to train with St. Kilda
November 11, 2008
Kerry star Tommy Walsh
Kerry GAA has been left reeling by the news that their Young Footballer of the Year Tommy Walsh is to travel to Australia later this month to hold trials with AFL club St. Kilda.
Walsh, who will line out for Kerins O'Rahilly's in next Sunday's Kerry SFC final against Mid Kerry and who missed the International Rules series due to his club commitments, will train with the Melbourne club with a view to carving out a career in Aussie Rules.
The 19-year-old made a huge impact in his first full season with the Kerry seniors and news of his proposed move to the AFL is certain to spark renewed calls for the GAA to sever its links with the AFL.
Players' agent Ricky Nixon, who helped convince the 6'5" teenager to try his hand at Aussie Rules, admitted that the news will go down like a lead balloon in GAA circles.
"It probably won't make people in Ireland too happy, but he's coming out," said Nixon, who spent a part of the summer in Ireland on a talent scouting mission.
"I can't tell you if he'll want to play or stay or if he'll be good enough but he's definitely one of the best talents that I've seen."
Nixon described Walsh, whose father Sean was a key member of the great Kerry team of the 1970s and 80s, as an athletic power forward "in the mould of a Wayne Carey" and said he was the most exciting prospect of the large group of Irish youngsters his recruiting team had looked at.
"We pulled off a pretty big coup ... he's previously resisted every attempt to get him out here," Nixon added.
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