CARLTON star Sam Walsh is under no illusions of the task in front of the Blues in the second half of the season.
Walsh has been one of Carlton’s star performers this year, but a fortnight in Sydney without a victory has seen the Blues return to Victoria behind the eight ball.
While having no doubts when it comes to the work rate of those in the playing group and coaching staff, Walsh said the team had “learned some valuable lessons” in the opening half of the season.
He pointed to the team’s need to fine-tune their work defensively if Carlton is going to start turning their recent performances into wins.
“At this point of the year, we’re not in a position that we want to be in,” Walsh told Carlton Media.
“I really believe in this group and we’re really hard-working, but we’ve learned some valuable lessons that we’re looking forward to taking into the next game and the second half of the year.
“I feel like we’re always going to be dangerous with our ball movement… our growth is going to come from working on our defensive stuff. We’re trying to drive that as a midfield group at the moment.”
The unanimous frontrunner for the 2021 John Nicholls Medal as things stand, Walsh has done what Sam Walsh does, taking his game to yet another level even after an award-ladened beginning to his career.
Averaging over 30 disposals and five clearances a game, the 20-year-old features inside the top 10 of the AFLCA Champion Player of the Year award an is the youngest player in the competition inside the top 20.
Walsh has been receptive to a permanent move as an inside midfielder: a positional switch which he believes has reaped the rewards.
“I’ve transitioned a bit more to that on-ball role, which has allowed me to use my running which I’m always going to try and do,” he said.
“From there, it’s trying to be strong in the contest. I’m learning a lot of valuable lessons.
“I’m playing against some of the best mids week in and week out, so you always pick up on little things that they do.”