Savernake sensation Mathew Walker was picked up in last week’s NAB AFL Draft by Hawthorn with the club’s second selection at pick 63.
The former Corowa High School student first played his junior football in the under 8s Friday night junior competition in Yarrawonga before going out to CDHBU in the Hume Football League where he played until joining the Murray Bushrangers. Walker, a natural forward, managed 10 TAC Cup appearances in 2018, averaging 14 disposals, five marks and 1.3 goals a game.
At local level, Walker was listed with the Albury Tigers in the Ovens and Murray Football Netball League and will go down in history as the only player to have played one Ovens and Murray game, winning a premiership and then being drafted to the AFL in the same year.
“It’s been an awesome year but with lots of travelling,” an elated Walker told the Free Press on Friday night.
“The premiership with Albury was amazing. I have learnt a lot from experienced boys like Joel Mackie and Chris Hyde.”
Although a Carlton supporter Walker said he was stoked about going to the Hawks.
“They are a great club, I can’t wait,” he said
The young talent said he was most looking forward to being around Hawks captain and 275-game veteran Jarryd Roughead but will also look for inspiration from players like Jack Gunston and Luke Breust.
“I have received a few texts from the Hawthorn boys which was really good,” Walker said.
With his strong body and hunger for the contest, Walker appears ready-made for senior football.
The 18-year-old stands at 188cm and 84kgs and is regarded as a future key forward with a strong overhead and boasts quality skills on both sides of his body.
In 2018 Walker received an invite to the NSW AFL Testing Combine and had a big year in terms of football with commitments at GWS Academy, Allies and GWS in the NEAFL, restricting his games for the Murray Bushrangers.
Walker said he is also looking forward to being alongside Bushrangers teammate and fellow draftee Jacob Koschitzke who also became a Hawk with the club’s number 52 selection
Walker is the son of July Nagle and John “Jacko” Walker who have a small hobby farm in Savernake.