JUST 16 games into his senior career, Carlton midfielder Sam Walsh is exceeding the lofty expectations which were placed on him pre-season.

A consistent performer through the Blues’ emerging young midfield, the No.1 draft pick has painted an experience figure despite his age.

The young star spoke to media on Tuesday morning about his breakout season ahead of Saturday’s clash with Gold Coast.

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“Every game this year I’ve been learning and trying to improve,” Walsh said of his development so far.

“Playing against different teams and different players, you do learn a fair bit.”

“For me later on, it’s sort of been getting a bit more opportunity on-ball and learning a few things, and then using my run on the outside.”

With only six games left of the home and away season, Walsh has emerged as the standout candidate for the 2019 NAB AFL Rising Star.

Nominated for his breakout performance against this weekend’s opponent back in Round 4, Walsh is “humbled” by his inclusion among an impressive crop of young hopefuls.

“I’m very humbled to be in that conversation, but I know there’s a lot of great players out there,” he said of the nomination.

“I’m just sticking to what has been said inside these four walls and trying to improve to get the best out of myself for the last six or seven games.”

Walsh is confident he will be able to maintain his consistency in the run home.

Despite talk of needing a rest six weeks ago, Walsh believes he is fit and firing and is backing himself to play every game for the remainder of his debut season.

“The body and mind is feeling great,” he said.

“I’ve sort of backed in my recovery and I’m doing everything I can. I don’t think there’s any reason why I can’t play every game this year.”