Sam Walsh says growing up at the Cobden Football Club sparked his passion for the AFL.
The Geelong Falcons star, who is favoured to go to Carlton with the first pick in tomorrow night’s AFL draft, spent the first nine years of his life with the Cobden footy club as his second home.
Walsh’s father Wayne and uncles Leigh and Chris all played more than 100 games at the Hampden league club, while his cousin and Falcons teammate Paddy Smith is still a Bomber.
Leigh and Chris also coached Colac district league club Simpson from 2008 until 2011.
Sam said he remembered his father Wayne coaching the Bombers’ senior side, including up-and-coming players Ben Cunnington, Gary Rohan and Jackson Merrett who went on to get drafted by AFL clubs.
He said that experience was the first eye opener to a potential future at the top level.
“I was always around the Cobden footy club, with Dad being heavily involved and having a lot of family members there, I grew up in that environment, it was probably a good start to my footy journey,” Sam said.
“I remember watching Ben and Gary play, and it really sparked my love of AFL football when I saw them get drafted,” he said.
“I suppose when you see people you know go on to reach a goal that seemed so hard to get, and more recently with Jackson and Zach Merrett, it gives you a bit of belief that you can do it too.”
See Today’s Colac Herald for more.