Walker be­comes a Hawker

The Free Press (Corowa) - - SPORT -

Sav­er­nake sen­sa­tion Mathew Walker was picked up in last week’s NAB AFL Draft by Hawthorn with the club’s sec­ond se­lec­tion at pick 63.

The for­mer Corowa High School stu­dent first played his ju­nior foot­ball in the un­der 8s Fri­day night ju­nior com­pe­ti­tion in Yar­ra­wonga be­fore go­ing out to CDHBU in the Hume Foot­ball League where he played un­til join­ing the Mur­ray Bushrangers. Walker, a nat­u­ral for­ward, man­aged 10 TAC Cup ap­pear­ances in 2018, av­er­ag­ing 14 dis­pos­als, five marks and 1.3 goals a game.

At lo­cal level, Walker was listed with the Al­bury Tigers in the Ovens and Mur­ray Foot­ball Net­ball League and will go down in his­tory as the only player to have played one Ovens and Mur­ray game, win­ning a premier­ship and then be­ing drafted to the AFL in the same year.

“It’s been an awe­some year but with lots of trav­el­ling,” an elated Walker told the Free Press on Fri­day night.

“The premier­ship with Al­bury was amaz­ing. I have learnt a lot from ex­pe­ri­enced boys like Joel Mackie and Chris Hyde.”

Although a Carl­ton sup­porter Walker said he was stoked about go­ing to the Hawks. “They are a great club, I can’t wait,” he said The young tal­ent said he was most look­ing for­ward to be­ing around Hawks cap­tain and 275-game vet­eran Jar­ryd Roug­head but will also look for in­spi­ra­tion from play­ers like Jack Gun­ston and Luke Breust.

“I have re­ceived a few texts from the Hawthorn boys which was re­ally good,” Walker said.

With his strong body and hunger for the con­test, Walker ap­pears ready-made for se­nior foot­ball.

The 18-year-old stands at 188cm and 84kgs and is re­garded as a fu­ture key for­ward with a strong over­head and boasts qual­ity skills on both sides of his body.

In 2018 Walker re­ceived an in­vite to the NSW AFL Test­ing Com­bine and had a big year in terms of foot­ball with com­mit­ments at GWS Academy, Al­lies and GWS in the NEAFL, re­strict­ing his games for the Mur­ray Bushrangers.

Walker said he is also look­ing for­ward to be­ing along­side Bushrangers team­mate and fel­low draftee Ja­cob Kos­chitzke who also be­came a Hawk with the club’s num­ber 52 se­lec­tion

Walker is the son of July Na­gle and John “Jacko” Walker who have a small hobby farm in Sav­er­nake.

Photo: Hawthorn Foot­ball Club.

For­mer Corowa High School stu­dent Mathew Walker was drafted at pick 63 dur­ing last week’s NAB AFL Draft by the Hawthorn Foot­ball Club. Mathew is pic­tured with for­mer player and cur­rent de­vel­op­ment coach Max Bai­ley pre­sent­ing him his jumper on the week­end.

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