Mid-season Falcons call-up for emerging Hawk

Dustin Walters

Promising Apollo Bay footballer Dustin Walters’ eye-catching recent form has grabbed the attention of TAC Cup officials.

The Geelong Falcons invited the 18-year-old to train with the club last week after his impressive 10-goal haul against the Western Eagles.

Walters trained with the Falcons’ under-18 team as a top-age player during their 2016 pre-season campaign and is eligible to feature in the side in 2017 as a 19-year-old player if the high-flying forward earns a spot.

Geelong coach Dan O’Keefe said Falcons officials had monitored the Colac district senior interleague representative and called him into the training squad after discussions with Walters’ senior coach at the Hawks, Craig Rippon.

“We’re always an open-door policy and part of that is to reward local players that are in good form,” he said.

“We understand Dustin turns 19 this year, so a couple of things have to go right, but if we see Dustin potentially playing a game with us we’ll certainly keep him around.

“If we don’t see that happening in a couple of weeks we’ll get him back to Apollo Bay.

“But it’s reward for effort and even though he’s only had one session so far, he’s really enjoyed it and I think it’ll be a really good learning experience for him even if it is only for a couple of weeks.”

Walters has enjoyed a solid year at CDFL level with the coastal club during his second full season in the senior ranks.

The versatile forward, who can play both tall or small, has booted 22 goals and featured in the best players on six occasions.

O’Keefe said he was surprised by Walters’ ability to hold down a key-position role at senior level.

“We’d probably use him as a third tall or a running half-forward,” he said.

For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.

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