The Sydney Swans latest Irish recruit Tommy Walsh has been named on an expanded bench for this weekend’s clash with North Melbourne at the SCG.
Walsh, an All Ireland medal winner with Kerry, has been impressing all and sundry in the reserves and is now within a whisker of his senior debut after two years in Australia.
After a frustrating stint with St Kilda, during which he was consistently overlooked for an AFL berth by coach Ross Lyon, Walsh made the move to Sydney in the off-season.
Much is expected of the tall 24-year-old, who has inherited his Kerry team-mate Tadhg Kennelly’s Number 17 jersey.
But he will not know until game-day (Sunday) whether he will make his long-awaited AFL debut.
The Swans have made a bright start to the season and are unbeaten after three rounds.
Elsewhere, Collingwood’s Martin Clarke, if selected, will make his 50th AFL appearance this weekend against Port Adelaide on Sunday.
The Down-man’s form has been patchy since returning to Melbourne after two years playing Gaelic football.
Under new coach Nathan Buckley, the Magpies have struggled so far in 2012 with a spate of injuries and an unsightly war of words involving former coach Mick Malthouse and club president Eddie McGuire.
Meanwhile, Carlton’s Zach Tuohy has been getting plenty of attention in Melbourne with his impressive form.
The Blues are on top of the table and looking like genuine Premiership contenders but the Laois-man came in for special mention after Carlton’s impressive win over arch-rivals Collingwood last week.
Blues defensive coach Gavin Brown praised the 21-year-old after last week’s performance.
“He just keeps improving. He is not only a fast learner, he is a beautiful kick of the ball. He is really a natural at it,” he said.
“He has plenty of power and penetration, and not only does he hit targets but he is a beautiful long kick.”
“He is a pretty solid boy and he’s extremely quick and he’s a good size, so he has some terrific attributes, so he has a bit of everything.”
Meanwhile, Setanta OhAilpin has been forced to wait at least another week for his GWS Giants debut.
The Corkman, who has recovered from a hip injury, score three goals for the reserves last week and is expected to return to AFL duty soon.
The fledgling GWS have shown plenty of enthusiasm but have yet to win an AFL match.