Player Watch #27: Will Walker - returned to Alter-G running (17July) - progressing from PCL/tibia injuries

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king of the road

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...........just don't mention froggy
What’s Will’s endurance like?

I ask as otherwise he’d be more suited to a half forward role if his endurance ain’t top notch. Which isn’t to say a modern half forward doesn’t have to cover the ground... But Garner is an example of more of an ‘impact’ half forward that Will might be. Although Wood and Turner are great endurance runners. Brown too... Zeibs not so - but less up forward these days.

Froggy can run out a game on the wing. Therefore not sure they’d be in competition for spots?... That’s my main point I suppose.
 

Snake_Baker

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Dunno if this article from the Sandy Dragons website has been posted before:


Will Walker on life at AFL level



2017 Sandringham Dragons player Will Walker joined the squad to celebrate the start of the 2018 season at the Season Launch on Wednesday night.
Walker, who played with the Dragons as a bottom-ager and top-age player, was drafted to North Melbourne with pick 23 in last year’s National Draft.
He spoke with Jackson Kornberg about life at the elite level.

Jackson Kornberg: how have you found your first few months at the club and what sort of stuff have you been doing?

Will Walker: my first few months have been really good and I have really enjoyed it so far. The process when you do get picked up is you get notified by the draft on the Friday, you’ve got club officials at your house on the Saturday and then you’re in the club at 7am on Monday morning so it is a pretty quick turnaround but it has been really good. In the first week, I thought I was pretty fit but I got thrown in with the full team and full training for three days. The first week was really tough but that was a good learning curve. In my first session, I bent down to pick up a ball and got absolutely smashed by Scott Thompson and I got yelled at from the side ‘welcome to the AFL Will’ and I am on my hands and knees wheezing so that was a good experience. The first month before Christmas were great and I was training quite a lot but then after Christmas I got quite sick with glandular fever and am just getting back into full training now but I am really enjoying it so far.

JK: is there a player that has been mentoring you or looking after you? And if there is, what sort of stuff have they been teaching you?

WW: I haven’t had a single player but players who play similar positions to me like Nathan Hrovat, Shaun Atley, Shaun Higgins, the guys in the mid-forward role. They have helped me and helped me learn the game plan so they have been fast-tracking my development in that sense and I am really grateful for that because I know what I am doing out on the track and now I can focus on my craft. Obviously with the skills they have been able to help and give my pointers about what I should be doing instead.

JK: Ryan O’Connor mentioned at the start that Will didn’t make the Vic Metro squad and he came in the first couple training and played in the first practice match but unfortunately didn’t progress forward but he still managed to get drafted quite high in the draft. How did you manage that disappointment to go ahead and perform for Dragons for the rest of the year?

WW: I was out of the loop for the U16s metro group because I didn’t take footy as seriously back then as I was playing soccer but then going into my top age year I thought I was a bit of a chance and obviously was really excited getting selected in the initial squad. I trained for a week, played a game and then got cut. Obviously, I was quite disappointed but I was resilient and I went back to my roots and said ‘well, why am I playing footy’ and that is one thing I would say to the kids now is why do you play? You play because you enjoy it. I got the idea of getting drafted out of my head because it was playing on my mind quite a lot. I trained hard and worked on things which has paid dividends. I really loved being around here at the Dragons because I had a lot of mates.

JK: it is not just about performance on-field, there are a lot of off-field stuff like conditioning and well-being but what are a few things you are glad you did with the Dragons that prepared you for when you go to the AFL?

WW: the professionalism of the environment is really good. We are in 5-6 days a week and at the Dragons it was only three plus a game but even in the training sense and professionalism it was quite high.

JK: what do you wish you were told last year when you were sitting in these boy’s seats before you got to the AFL?

WW: one thing I wish they told me was don’t get sucked into all the draft hype that could be around you or your mates or jealous of them because I know at the start of the year I got sucked into all that and it played on my mind a lot because I really wanted it to happen but then I didn’t get picked in Vic Metro and I felt like that shattered my dreams. After that I decided to not worry and focus on playing footy and enjoying it and if I could say one thing to you it would be to just enjoy your footy, enjoy being around your mates and if you work hard the rewards will come. Another thing I’d like to reiterate that Andy told me last year was to spend a lot of time with mates, family, schoolwork, university or TAFE and make sure you have a well-balanced life because studies have shown if you have balance you will perform better in whatever you are doing. Last year I focussed on school and that was my fall-back plan which ended up really helping me through the year and helped me play quite well.

 

King Corey

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It’s been a year to forget for Will Walker, but finally there’s light at the end of tunnel.

North Melbourne GM of Football Cameron Joyce says Walker’s rehab from a knee injury is now progressing well, and he will hopefully be back running in time for the 2020 preseason.

Walker damaged his PCL against Adelaide late last season, but has had a number of setbacks since, including a stress fracture in his tibia.
“He’s gone through a period of twelve weeks where he’s managed to tick every box of his rehab before running. He had an MRI and his knee looks healed now which will hopefully give him the confidence to progress to the next step,” Joyce said.

“We’re hoping that by the end of the season he’ll be back running, and by October he’ll be starting to gain some conditioning.”

Joyce not only praised Walker’s approach to his physical rehab, but also the way he’s approached his setbacks from a mental standpoint.

“He’s not only had to overcome the healing process, but also the mental side of long term injury rehabilitation,” Joyce said.

Walker ran on the Alter-G, a weight bearing treadmill, for the first time on Monday, and despite the light load on his knee, it represents a huge step in his comeback bid.

“We’re starting with very small steps with Will and building gradually, to set him up for a big pre-season” Joyce added.
walker-takes-up-running
 

roos_fanatic08

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Hopefully can put all the injury issues behind him and be raring to go day one of pre-season.

On a side not it would be nice if we could a whole intake of recruits not have some term of long term injury throughout their development years.
 

Sopwiths North

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Really pleased that young Will is finally ticking along! I'm not as well-versed in the injury knowledge as many folks on here are, but seeing him hyper-extend his knee like that looked horrific to me at the time. One of those things that I just can't bear thinking about.

Will (no pun!) be over the moon to finally see him run back out in the blue and white. Loved how he played for us last year. Something very special about him.
 

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Snake_Baker

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Crikey we have carried a bit this year

2020 returning players
Ben Jacobs
Tom McKenzie
Bailey Scott
Kyron Hayden
Will Walker
Ed Vickers-Willis
Majak Daw

and add Luke McDonald now

It's pretty much been the same since the half way mark of 2016.
 

7577969919

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Crikey we have carried a bit this year

2020 returning players
Ben Jacobs
Tom McKenzie
Bailey Scott
Kyron Hayden
Will Walker
Ed Vickers-Willis
Majak Daw

and add Luke McDonald now
Throw in the fact that Higgins, Hall and Tyson have all been unavailable for material stints our midfield depth has been severely tested. Any one of those three mature players could have been the difference on the weekend as they all would have improved our clearances.
 

JeanLucGoddard

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Why's he even bothering with playing footy then? Surely the daddy network will sort him out long term?
As they taught him there, if you have ability in anything and you enjoy it, the HONOUR THE WORK and do it.

And what daddy network, its just a state school and st8 skoolz are gr8 skoolz.
 

Ball Dont Lie

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Why's he even bothering with playing footy then? Surely the daddy network will sort him out long term?
Melb high is a state school. You only get in if you pass an exam. Will is a very smart boy to get in. He might also be from rich parents but typically the more wealthy send their kids to private schools.
 

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