Tommy Walsh will make his long-awaited debut for the Swans this weekend.
The Kerryman will make his AFL debut when he lines up for the Sydney Swans in Saturday evening’s match against Melbourne at the SCG.
Walsh’s agonising wait for an AFL debut had been frustrated in recent weeks after twice being named in an extended squad and twice being overlooked.
But coach John Longmire has now made a show of faith in the Kerryman, after the Swans’ form dipped following a strong start the the season. They lie fifth on the ladder.
The 24-year-old will wear the famous number 17 guernsey onto the SCG on the weekend.
The All Ireland medal winner, who was traded to the Swans from St Kilda in 2011, has impressed in the reserves this season and has been a regular goal-kicker for the side.
Walsh told sydneyswans.com.au that he is thrilled to be making his senior debut.
“It’s something that I’ve wanted to do since I got here (in Australia), so it’s been two-and-a-half years and there have been bad times and good times in that, but it’s just great to finally get off the mark and get my first game,” he said.
“There were times where I felt like it was never going to happen, but I knew I just had to stick with it and keep believing that it was going to come.
“Horse (Swans coach John Longmire) and everyone else at the Swans have been very supportive and they’ve been telling me exactly what I’ve needed to do to get a game and put down a plan for me, and I was able to stick to that.
“It’s all come together now and I’m just really, really excited for the weekend and I can’t wait to get out there.”
He is relishing the chance to play at the SCG in front of the club’s fans.
“Ever since I arrived at the SCG I’ve wanted to play a senior game there and play my first game there,” Walsh said.
“It’s always a good atmosphere (at the SCG) and I could see how much the boys enjoyed playing there, so I just can’t wait to get out there and run out there with the rest of the boys.
“I’ve been here for seven or eight months now, and just seeing how great the boys go about everything, so just to be able to go out and play a game with them and do all the things they talk about week-to-week is just a great opportunity for me and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Walsh’s brother Barry John will be there watch him.
But Walsh said he will have to wait and see to find out if his father Seán would be able to travel from Ireland.
“It’s a long trip (from Ireland) as you know,” he said.
“My father was asleep when I rang him to tell him, so he was a bit out of it and probably didn’t really know what was going on.
“We’ll see how quickly he can make it over, but it’s a long trip and as much as he’d love to be here he’ll just wish me luck (if he can’t make it).
“But he will leave no stone unturned to try and watch it (in Ireland) if he can’t get over here.
“The good thing is my brother is here, and there are a lot of Irish fans around as well as some close Irish friends who will be around.”