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Walsh family full of pride

Pick 1 | Meet the parents Carlton Media spoke with the family of Sam Walsh after he was selected with pick No. 1 at the 2018 NAB AFL Draft.

IT’S safe to say the Walshes were one proud family on Thursday night when 18-year-old Sam’s name was read out first at the 2018 NAB AFL Draft.

His parents Wayne and Jacque agreed it was a relief to know their son was going to Carlton.

That was particularly the case for dad Wayne, who - as a Blues supporter - was hoping his son's name would be called for Carlton's first pick.

Click here for your chance to meet our No.1 pick and receive a 2019 guernsey by Sam Walsh.

“It was amazing and a bit of a relief. I’m so happy for him. He’s worked so hard for it,” Jacque said.

“It was pretty nerve-wracking about ten minutes beforehand but when his name got called out we were so pumped. We’re pretty excited for him,” Wayne said.

“I had fingers crossed and everything crossed the last couple of weeks going into the draft, hoping he’d go to Carlton, for Sam as well just so we can support him a bit more in Victoria.”

 

Sam’s mantelpiece may already be buckling under the pressure of a plethora of awards from his outstanding draft year, with Walsh winning the Larke Medal as the best player of the under-18 National Championships. He also captained the Geelong Falcons, Vic Country, the NAB AFL Academy squad and the under-18 All Australian team.

He also averaged 32 touches in the TAC Cup and 29 disposals throughout the under-18 carnival.

Despite this, his parents predicted there will be a lot of hard work ahead for the 184cm midfielder.

He’ll do alright, he’s just got to keep his head down, bum up and work hard... Just makes sure he does all the work, fits in with the Club and the team and goes really well,” Wayne said. 

As for the prospect of Sam running out for his first AFL game, both Jacque and Wayne agreed it would be an exciting reward for Sam’s hard work.

“[It will be most exciting] for him – because he’s worked so hard for it,” Jacque said.

“Playing for such a big club too, I think it will be a pretty awesome achievement to get a senior game and run out for the first time. Hopefully Round 1 against the Tiges,” Wayne said.

“It will be great fun.”