Crows' Walker nominated for Rising Star - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crows' Walker nominated for Rising Star

02/06/2009 05:14:26 PM Comments (0)

The city of Adelaide is hoping Broken Hill teenager Taylor Walker will become the man to claim Tony Modra's long vacant throne.

Whether or not 19-year-old Walker's career will match that of the former Crows' forward, not an easy task given Modra's standing as the club's brightest star, may be largely dependent upon events further upfield.

The first half of Sunday's win over Hawthorn at AAMI Stadium certainly painted a rosy picture for Walker, as swift delivery from midfield gave him the opportunity to slot five goals and in so doing claim the round 10 AFL rising star nomination.

But the well dried up in the second, when the Hawks fought back to starve Walker of clear chances.

"I had a pretty good first half on the weekend and faded out in the last half, so that's one area I'm trying to work on and will keep trying to work on in my career," Walker said on Tuesday.

"It's always easier as a forward when it's coming through with speed and ... when it's not coming with speed I need to work on my one-on-one contested ball."

There is no doubt Walker is an exceptional kick, a strong target on the lead and a player of natural skill and poise when the ball falls to the ground - qualities that have brought inevitable Modra comparisons.

Adelaide coach Neil Craig and his forward line assistant David Noble have been attempting to polish other elements of Walker's game, from his work when checked closely by an opponent to his tackling and chasing when the opposition takes possession.

To that end they would have been heartened to see Walker finish the Hawks match with a fierce tackle to hand a goal to teammate Scott Stevens.

"That (forward pressure) is something I've been working on, it's one of my weaknesses," Walker said.

"The forward pressure for the boys on the weekend was a pretty good level and hopefully we can maintain that and go into this week against Essendon still doing that."

Walker's nomination was the third for a Crow in 2009 following identical honours for Andy Otten and Patrick Dangerfield.

It is the first time Adelaide tyros have ever received that level of attention - previously they have never done better than two nominations in a season - and promises much for the future.

"It was a bit of a surprise but it's very exciting to have the third this year for Adelaide," Walker said.

"It goes to show we've got a few young players coming through and I'm excited to be alongside Andy and Patrick."

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