Taylor Walker (footballer)
|Full name||Taylor Walker|
|Date of birth||25 April 1990|
|Place of birth||Broken Hill, New South Wales|
|Original team(s)||North Broken Hill (BHFL)
NSW/ACT Rams (TAC Cup)
|Draft||No. 75 (NSW SP), 2007 National Draft, Adelaide|
|Debut||Round 1, 2009, Adelaide
v. Collingwood, at MCG
|Height/Weight||194 cm (6 ft 4 in) / 98 kg (15 st 6 lb)|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of Round 12, 2016.
Taylor Walker (born 25 April 1990) is a professional Australian rules football player and is currently the captain of the Adelaide Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). He is a former NSW Scholarship player with the club, and was drafted with pick 75 in the 2007 National Draft. Walker was named the captain of Adelaide prior to the 2015 season.
Walker attended Willyama High School in Broken Hill. His father, Wayne, was a prominent footballer in Broken Hill who played more than 350 games, and Walker soon followed in his footsteps. In 2006, Walker accepted a NSW Scholarship contract with Adelaide, at the age of 16. However, he continued to play for his senior local amateur league team, North Broken Hill, in the Broken Hill Football League, leading them to the 2007 Premiership with a seven-goal, best on ground performance, playing at centre half forward.
Walker spent his first year at the Crows playing for Norwood in the SANFL, kicking more than 50 goals in the 2008 season. He made his AFL debut in round 1 the next season, against Collingwood, and held his place in the side for the next 12 rounds. This included a five-goal performance against reigning premiership Hawthorn in round 10, which earned him an AFL Rising Star nomination. However, only three weeks later he was dropped from the senior side and played just one more match for the season, with coach Neil Craig wanting him to work on deficiencies in his game.
Walker returned to the side in 2010 and showed fluctuating form, showing glimpses of brilliance alongside some poor performances. He was dropped from the side on a number of occasions throughout the year, sparking rumours that he and head coach Neil Craig were not seeing eye to eye and that Craig was using Walker as a scapegoat for Adelaide's poor form throughout the year. Again, Walker was accused of not showing enough defensive pressure in the forward line. He finished with 35 goals for the season from 18 games, including two bags of 4 goals against Fremantle and then Geelong.
Early in 2011, Walker was dropped once again and was seen drinking a beer on live television at a SANFL game, sparking speculation that he 'didn't care' and may have signed a contract with incoming expansion team Greater Western Sydney, with whom Walker had been previously strongly linked. However, late in the season, Walker re-signed with the Crows for a further four years. Despite inconsistent form and injuries, Walker was the club's leading goalkicker in 2011, booting 32 goals from only 13 games, at an average of 2.5 per game, ranked sixth in the AFL.
2012 saw Walker improve under new coach Brenton Sanderson. As of round 8, Walker led the Coleman Medal count, before two separate suspensions for rough tackles cost him the chance to lead the league's goalscoring. However, Walker returned to finish the season in good form, booting five goals in Adelaide's come-from-behind Semi Final win over Fremantle, and four goals the next week in the Crows' Preliminary Final loss to Hawthorn. In total, Walker kicked 63 goals for the season and 3.3 per game, second in the AFL behind Lance Franklin.
In round 5, 2013, against Carlton, Walker badly hyper-extended his right knee and suffered an ACL injury, requiring a full reconstruction and 12-month rehabilitation period. In the meantime, Walker made headlines by appearing on The Footy Show and agreeing to shave his famous mullet to raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation. He then went on to raise a total of $66,672.45 for the foundation before having his head shaved by TV personality and former Geelong star Sam Newman.
Walker made his return to competitive football early in the 2014 season in the Adelaide Crows reserves' side, kicking three goals in a 37-point loss to Glenelg. He made his return to the AFL against Collingwood in Round 9 at the Adelaide Oval, and played every game for the remainder of the season, kicking multiple goals in 11 games and a career-best six against the Brisbane Lions. He finished with 34 goals in 15 games, and averaged a career-high 14.7 disposals per game. In November, Walker extended his contract with the Crows for three further years, until the end of 2018.
In January 2015, Walker was appointed captain of Adelaide. He returned to his best form in that year, finishing fourth in the Coleman Medal with 55 goals in the home-and-away season and leading the club inspirationally as they overcame the death of senior coach Phil Walsh to make the semi-finals.
- Statistics are correct to end of Round 12, 2016.
|Totals||Averages (per game)|
- "Crows sign Broken Hill junior". AFC.com.au. Adelaide Football Club. 24 May 2006. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
- Walsh, Scott; Harvy, Ben (14 January 2015). "Taylor Walker announced as new captain at Adelaide Crows". The Advertiser.
- Nicolussi, Christian (26 June 2009). "Youngster Taylor Walker under wraps in Sydney". The Daily Telegraph.
- Gill, Katrina (9 December 2009). "Walker working his way back". AFC.com.au. Adelaide Football Club. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
- Holmesby, Luke (2 June 2009). "NAB AFL Rising Star: Rd 10". AFL.com.au. Australian Football League. Retrieved 2 June 2009.
- "Walker's drink small beer to Craig". ABC.net.au. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 23 May 2011. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
- "Taylor Walker - AFC.com.au". AFC.com.au. Adelaide Football Club.
- Spits, Scott (15 May 2012). "Crow Walker cops two-match penalty". The Age.
- Rucci, Michelangelo (1 July 2012). "Adelaide forward Taylor Walker facing three-match suspension for tackle on Steven Morris". The Advertiser.
- "Walker leads Crows to finals win". ABC.net.au. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 15 September 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
- "Hawks hang on against gutsy Crows". ABC.net.au. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 23 September 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
- "ACL tear puts Walker out for the year". AFL.com.au. Australian Football League. 29 April 2013.
- Kelton, Sam (4 July 2013). "Taylor Walker cuts mullet for Leukaemia Foundation, raising $66,672". The Advertiser.
- Walsh, Scott (26 April 2014). "Birthday boy Taylor Walker kicks three goals in strong return, despite Adelaide's 37-point loss to Glenelg". The Advertiser.
- "Adelaide Crows secure Taylor Walker until 2018". ABC.net.au. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 18 November 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
- "AFL Tables - Taylor Walker statistics". AFL Tables.