Infotainment Factory: AFL legend warns Blues over Walsh expectations

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Monday, 11 March 2019

AFL legend warns Blues over Walsh expectations


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Former Sydney Swans coach Paul Roos has urged AFL fans to temper expectations for Carlton's No.1 pick Sam Walsh after another impressive JLT performance.

After an outstanding JLT 1 performance which saw him pick up 28 disposals against Essendon, Walsh again impressed onlookers with 23 disposals in the Blues' 11. 11. (77) to 10. 13. (73) defeat to Collingwood.

However, despite Walsh's brilliant output in the two games, Roos urged fans to not place too many expectations on the shoulders of the 18-year-old.

"There's so much expectation on the 18-19 year olds and probably not enough on the 22-23 year olds," Roos said while on commentary for Fox Footy.

Sam Walsh

"We talk about young guys, we probably elevate them too quickly and then we become too patient with them.

"I reckon at about 22-23 is when you should be really hitting your straps. That's when you're becoming an AFL player and the next five or six years you're really consolidating.

"So they need some of these young players to start playing really good football."

Roos singled out fourth-year forward Charlie Curnow as one player that the Blues should expect a big season out of, after his impressive 2018 season.

Charlie Curnow

The Swans premiership coach even went as far as to suggest that the Blues should not be afraid of resting Walsh throughout the season in order to keep him healthy.

Roos pointed the finger at clubs such as Sydney, Hawthorn and Geelong, who have brought on young players slowly through their second teams, similar to the way the Swans brought future Brownlow Medallist Tom Mitchell along in his first few seasons.

"You look at the good teams, they play a lot of their young blokes in the seconds, even their early draft picks," he said.

"I think the expectations are too high on Sam Walsh. I'm all for playing players on merit but look at the kid he's still developing his body.

"If he plays 12-15 senior games this year, that's not to limit it, but that should be the expectation. Even play some VFL games, get his confidence up and get him through his first season feeling really good about himself."

Former Sydney Swans coach Paul Roos has urged AFL fans to temper expectations for Carlton's No.1 pick Sam Walsh after another impressive JLT performance.

After an outstanding JLT 1 performance which saw him pick up 28 disposals against Essendon, Walsh again impressed onlookers with 23 disposals in the Blues' 11. 11. (77) to 10. 13. (73) defeat to Collingwood.

However, despite Walsh's brilliant output in the two games, Roos urged fans to not place too many expectations on the shoulders of the 18-year-old.

"There's so much expectation on the 18-19 year olds and probably not enough on the 22-23 year olds," Roos said while on commentary for Fox Footy.

Sam Walsh

"We talk about young guys, we probably elevate them too quickly and then we become too patient with them.

"I reckon at about 22-23 is when you should be really hitting your straps. That's when you're becoming an AFL player and the next five or six years you're really consolidating.

"So they need some of these young players to start playing really good football."

Roos singled out fourth-year forward Charlie Curnow as one player that the Blues should expect a big season out of, after his impressive 2018 season.

Charlie Curnow

The Swans premiership coach even went as far as to suggest that the Blues should not be afraid of resting Walsh throughout the season in order to keep him healthy.

Roos pointed the finger at clubs such as Sydney, Hawthorn and Geelong, who have brought on young players slowly through their second teams, similar to the way the Swans brought future Brownlow Medallist Tom Mitchell along in his first few seasons.

"You look at the good teams, they play a lot of their young blokes in the seconds, even their early draft picks," he said.

"I think the expectations are too high on Sam Walsh. I'm all for playing players on merit but look at the kid he's still developing his body.

"If he plays 12-15 senior games this year, that's not to limit it, but that should be the expectation. Even play some VFL games, get his confidence up and get him through his first season feeling really good about himself."

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