Andrew Walker (footballer)
|Full name||Andrew Walker|
|Date of birth||18 May 1986|
|Place of birth||Echuca, Victoria|
|Original team||Bendigo Pioneers (TAC Cup)|
|Height/Weight||190cm / 90kg|
|Position(s)||Forward / Defender|
1 Playing statistics correct to end of 2013 season.
He was educated at Caulfield Grammar School in Melbourne, Victoria, and graduated in 2004.
Walker was taken with Carlton's priority draft pick, the second pick overall, in the 2003 National Draft. Walker was Carlton's only high draft pick in either 2002 or 2003, as the club was stripped of its early selections in those drafts due to salary cap breaches. He was given Carlton champion Stephen Silvagni's guernsey number 1 after its two-year retirement. Andrew was a bottom-aged player in the 2003 Draft, and studied Year 12 – Victorian Certificate of Education – during his debut year, at Caulfield Grammar School.
Walker made his debut in Round 5, 2004 in Carlton's win over West Coast at Optus Oval, a performance that was considered one of the greatest debuts ever by a young player. In that game, he amassed 26 disposals, assisted three goals, and flew for what may well have been Mark of the Year had he held on to the ball. Walker earned a Rising Star Award nomination for that performance.
For the rest of 2004 and 2005, Andrew struggled to reproduce the stunning form he displayed on debut, and it wasn't until 2006 that he started to play consistent football for the Carlton senior side. In 2006, Andrew had a number of very successful games as a tagger (often tagging the opposition's premier midfielder), and also provided much run off half back. Andrew's good 2006 was acknowledged by the club with a Top 10 placing in the club's Best and Fairest Award.
In 2007 Walker continued to develop as a footballer, and moved into Carlton's midfield where he uses his pace and ball carrying ability. In mid-2007, he signed a deal tying him to the club until 2009.
Walker's 2008 and 2009 seasons were severely limited by a shoulder injury. He initially injured the shoulder in 2008 pre-season training; he recuperated without surgery to play in Carlton's pre-season games, but injured it again in the Blues' final practice match, requiring a reconstruction which prevented him from playing until Round 16. He injured it again at the start of 2009, requiring another operation and preventing him from playing until Round 18. Walker managed only thirteen matches for the two seasons.
He was one of a number of Carlton players involved in off field incidents following Carlton players' 2009 Christmas party to be fined and suspended from pre-season training for a month. They were sent to a boxing gym and underwent a strenuous training program. This in fact had a positive effect and they applied themselves so well that they achieved best ever levels of fitness and convinced the club they had the right attitude.
After finally returning to regular game-time in 2010, Walker was struggling to hold his place in the team as a midfielder/utility on form. Carlton sought interest from other clubs during the 2010 trade week, but ultimately no trade was negotiated and he remained at Carlton.
In 2011, he re-established himself as a key member of Carlton's senior team, in a new position as a key forward. He played all 24 games for the season, and kicked 56 goals to be the club's leading goalkicker, and finished sixth in the best and fairest. Additionally, in Round 18 against Essendon, Walker took a huge specky over Essendon player Jake Carlisle, which was considered by many football observers, including The Age's Rohan Connolly, and both match-day coaches, Brett Ratten and James Hird, to be one of the greatest marks of all-time – although ultimately it did not win the season's Mark of the Year award. He was awarded life membership of the Carlton Football Club in December 2011.
Outside of football, Walker is currently in the band, "Number One Draft Picks' and plays the drum like his father. He has two sons, Cody Jay (born in January 2008) and Arli (born in October 2011) with partner Kylie.
- AFL Record. Round 9,2009. Slattery Publishing. pg 75.
- Buttler, Mark. (2009-12-22) A day out for boozy Carlton footballers ended in Crown casino ban for Ryan Houlihan and Andrew Walker. Courier Mail. Retrieved on 2011-12-14.
- Last drinks for Carlton | AFL. Fox Sports (2010-02-04). Retrieved on 2011-12-14.
- Anderson, Jon. (2010-02-02) Camp breaks, makes Blues. Heraldsun.com.au. Retrieved on 2011-12-14.
- Carlton trio back, wiser and fitter. Theage.com.au (2010-02-04). Retrieved on 2011-12-14.
- McFarlane, Glenn. (2010-02-04) Last drinks for Carlton boys. Heraldsun.com.au. Retrieved on 2011-12-14.
- Ralph, Jon. (2010-02-18) Banned Carlton Blues players set for return after NAB Cup. Heraldsun.com.au. Retrieved on 2011-12-14.
- Phillips, Max (6 Jun 2011). "Walker wins respect". Carlton Football Club. Retrieved 7 Jun 2011.
- "Andrew Walker Statistics". AFL Tables. Retrieved 18 Sep 2011.
- Connolly, Rohan (25 Jul 2011). "Blues' Walker soars into hall of fame with blissful mark". The Age. Retrieved 25 Jul 2011.
- McTaggart, Gregor (24 Jun 2011). "Ratten: Walker speccy the best". Sportal. Retrieved 25 Jul 2011.
- Holmesby, Luke (19 Sep 2011). "Show-stoppers". Australian Football League. Retrieved 19 Sep 2011.
- de Bolfo, Tony (15 Dec 2011). "Loyal Blues acknowledged at AGM". Carlton Football Club. Retrieved 15 Dec 2011.
- Ralph, Jon (30 January 2008) Andrew Walker primed for stellar year. Herald Sun
- McClure, Geoff (28 April 2004) Sporting Life. The Age
- Andrew Walker's profile on the official website of the Carlton Football Club
- Andrew Walker's statistics from AFL Tables
- Andrew Walker Profile in Blueseum