Tommy Walsh (Kerry footballer)
|Irish name||Tomás Breathnach|
|Position||Left Corner Forward|
26 February 1988 |
Tralee, County Kerry
|Height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|** Inter County team apps and scores correct as of 10 May 2009.|
Tommy Walsh (born 26 February 1988) is an Irish sportsman who has played at the top level of Gaelic football and Australian rules football. The son of former Kerry Gaelic footballer Seán Walsh, he has played Gaelic football at club level with the Kerins O'Rahilly's club team and at inter-county level with the Kerry senior football team. Walsh is currently playing Australian rules football in the Australian Football League with the Sydney Swans.
It was clear from an early stage that Walsh was a talented footballer. He was a star player for the Kerry team which reached the All-Ireland Minor Football Championship final in 2006. He made his debut for the Kerry seniors in the 2007 National Football League, coming on as a substitute wing-forward on March 11 against Limerick. Kerry went on to win the 2007 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship  although Walsh did not appear in any championship game.
In 2008, Walsh was selected in the team for the first game of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship following some impressive NFL performances in the full-forward line. Walsh made his championship debut came against Clare in the Munster Senior Football Championship, scoring a point. He did not start in the Munster final, which Kerry lost to Cork, but came on as a substitute for the last few minutes. He regained his place and a number of impressive performances saw him named as All Stars Young Footballer of the Year.
Later in the year, having resisted previous approaches from the Australian Football League, Walsh agreed to spend one week of preseason training with Australian Rules Football club, St Kilda. Players' agent Ricky Nixon described it as a 'big coup' for the AFL and said '"I can’t tell you if he’ll want to play or stay or if he’ll be good enough but he’s definitely one of the best talents that I’ve seen." However, Walsh later withdrew from the original trial and did not travel to Australia before the recruitment deadline, although he accepted an invitation to spend some time training with St Kilda.
In 2009, Walsh suffered injury in the early part of the championship, which saw Kerry knocked out of Munster by Cork. Kerry came through the qualifiers to meet Dublin in the All-Ireland quarter-final, but Walsh was not on top form and was replaced before half-time. He was dropped from the team but came on as a substitute during the second half of the semi-final, and a more impressive performance saw him regain his place for the final, in which he notched up four points from play as Kerry overcame Cork.
Australian rules football
|Full name||Tommy Walsh|
|Date of birth||26 February 1988|
|Place of birth||Tralee, Ireland|
|Original team||Kerry (Gaelic football)|
|Height/Weight||195cm / 97kg|
1 Playing statistics correct to end of 2013 season.
In October 2009, Walsh finally agreed to sign a two year AFL contract in 2009, with St Kilda general manager Matthew Drain saying that "he has enormous talent to become an important player for St Kilda".
In October 2010, Walsh returned to Ireland to line out for the Irish international rules team in the 2010 International Rules Series, held at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Ireland lost the first test of 2010.
Walsh was given the number 17 guernsey, vacated by the retirement of Tadhg Kennelly, who was a team-mate of Walsh's at Kerry in 2009. Walsh made his senior debut on Saturday 19 May 2012 against Melbourne.
- Keys, Colm (9 January 2008). "10 To Watch In 2008". Irish Independent (Independent News & Media). Retrieved 9 January 2008.
- Murray, Shane (16 September 2007). "Kerry 3-13 Cork 1-9". RTÉ Sport (RTÉ). Retrieved 5 April 2008.
- "Kerry 2-12 Kildare 0-11". RTÉ Sport (RTÉ). 3 May 2008. Retrieved 3 May 2008.
- "Cork 1-16 Kerry 1-11". RTÉ Sport (RTÉ). 6 July 2008. Retrieved 6 July 2008.
- "Walsh and Moran to miss AFL club trial". The Irish Times. 11 November 2008.
- "Walsh signs two-year Aussie contract". RTÉ Sport (RTÉ). 19 October 2009. Retrieved 19 October 2009.
- Tommy Walsh's profile on the official website of the Sydney Swans
- Tommy Walsh's statistics from AFL Tables