Greg ‘Diesel’ Williams has labelled Sam Walsh “amazing” as the Carlton young gun continues to impress.
The 20-year-old was one of the best players on the ground in last Thursday’s season opener against Richmond, amassing 31 disposals in his side’s 25-point loss.
Walsh’s poise, pace, precision and power were on show for all to see and further enhanced his reputation as one of the highest quality on-ballers in the competition, despite being just 40 games into his career.
The exploits of the 2019 Rising Star winner have not been lost on Blues great and two-time Brownlow Medallist Williams.
“He’s amazing that kid,” Williams said on SEN Breakfast.
“I was at Carlton last year pre-season. It’s really funny because he plays a game and he come out Sunday or Monday and it’s like he hasn’t played.
“He’s just got that motor, he’s got that energy, it’s just amazing.”
With his rapid development coinciding with an abundance of natural leadership, could Walsh be the next captain of Carlton?
“I think he’s a big chance to be, but he’s not worried about that at the moment,” Diesel added.
“He’s got a few years to build himself up. He’s going to be a real star, obviously.”
Long-time Carlton footy department boss Shane O’Sullivan also has high hopes for Walsh.
O’Sullivan sees shades of Blues champion Chris Judd and St Kilda legend Robert Harvey in the smooth-moving midfielder.
“The great thing about him, I don’t think I have ever seen anyone train like him. I thought ‘Juddy’ was unbelievable but in this modern era that is professional, if you watch him train, it is exactly how he plays,” O’Sullivan told The Age.
“As he gets stronger in that, I can only see him get better. He is just amazing how he gets from one contest to another. He doesn’t just think it’s going to happen. If you watch him train, the intensity of the way he trains is unbelievable. In a game, there are so many efforts, whether it’s the ball being thrown in or bounced, he is back in it straight away.
“When I think about it, it’s a bit Robert Harvey-ish. He goes hard, sucks the air in, then is ready to go again.”
Teammate Ed Curnow concurs with O’Sullivan’s sentiments, showering Walsh with superlatives after seeing first-hand how he goes about his business.
“‘Walshy’ has been unreal since he came to the club,” Curnow said on SEN Breakfast.
“The awesome thing is when you draft a high-end talent and they turn up and they train as if they were going to be last picked. Every session he trains with an intensity to get better and he’s always pushing his body and teammates around him.
“I agree with Shane’s comments. There’s no secret to it. A lot of the really good players work really, really hard and train really well. Walshy is one of those players.
“It sets the footy club up really. We’re just really lucky to have Walshy at Carlton.
“He was put in the leadership group in his second year and he hasn’t looked back. He’s a great connection with the younger players to the coaches.
“He’s an absolute workhorse and it shows game day. We couldn’t be more proud of him.”
Walsh and the Blues will look to bounce back from their Round 1 defeat when they meet arch enemy Collingwood at the MCG on Thursday night.