Andrew Walker primed for stellar year

Article from: Herald Sun

Jon Ralph

January 30, 2008 12:00am

AN AUSTRALIA Day baby, an improved injury report on a repaired shoulder and the prospect of elevation into Carlton's new-look midfield - no wonder Andrew Walker couldn't stop smiling yesterday.

Walker is the only Blues player to stay back from the club's South African training camp, yet he already has his hands full.

First son Cody Jay returned home from hospital with Walker's partner Kylie yesterday after arriving in the early hours of Saturday morning.

"He was supposed to come on the 30th, but he came a little earlier, which was good," Walker said yesterday.

"He was an Australia Day baby and he was close to the first born. He came pretty early in the morning and he's coming along really well.

"I am 21 at the moment, but I am happy it's all happened. It obviously wasn't a planned thing, but it's a miracle in everyone's life."

Walker has also been working hard after injuries to both shoulders last season and expects to be fit for the first NAB Cup game.

Walker said Chris Judd had shown by his actions that he wanted to captain the Blues.

Walker said Judd was the man for the job, despite reservations about the former Eagle being appointed captain in his first season.

"For starters I didn't know if it was the right thing to do, him coming into the club and taking the position. But after getting to know him over the pre-season, he has grown on everybody as a leader and as a role model to the young boys," Walker said.

"The boys love him as a bloke and he would be good for the job. I am pretty sure it will be him or Nick Stevens.

"You can tell he really wants it, the way he is getting around the club. And he doesn't seem out of place, even though he's only been here 12 weeks."

Walker also said No. 1 draft pick Matthew Kreuzer had been very impressive and his build and temperament could see him playing many senior games this year.

"His co-ordination with the ball is amazing," Walker said.

"We had a practice match the other day and he kicked a snap on the run from the boundary, and doing things like that, you could see how he was No. 1.

"Whether our supporters need to wait to see him for a couple of rounds or a year to come on, they just need to be patient . . . because he's going to be one of the superstars of the game."



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