Walsh returns to play under new Old Collegians coach

JOSH Walsh returned to Old Collegians — a club close to his grandfather’s heart — in the off-season.

Walsh, 20, started his football career as a Warrior before mates lured him to Hampden league club South Warrnambool.

The grandson of Old Collegians stalwart Barry returned to Davidson Oval this season, eager to play under new Warriors coach Daryl Beechey. “The direction he was going to take the football club sounded good and they recruited pretty heavily — they picked up 18 or 19 new faces,” Walsh said.

“That was a big enticement I suppose. I needed a change.”

Walsh, a third-year plumbing apprentice, said his grandfather had strong links to Old Collegians, as a past player and president.

“He has been the biggest influence on my football career,” he said. “He’s followed me at South and Collegians.”

Walsh said he was a similar footballer to his grandfather and was playing a small forward-cum-midfield role under Beechey.

“We have a good mix of talls and smalls and I am playing a role as a small,” he said.

“I am kicking a few goals each week which is putting me in good stead.

“Beech, because we are a young side, wants us to play on quickly and we have two good targets in Jimmy Ryan and Chris Chambers.

“Chris has come from Koroit and is a good focal point up forward and someone for us to kick to.”

Old Collegians will enter tomorrow’s Good Friday clash against fellow top-five hopeful Merrivale at Davidson Oval on the back of their first loss of the season.

The Warriors suffered a 29-point loss to Allansford in round three after winning their first two games. It followed a winless 2013 campaign.

“We didn’t play four quarters against Allansford so we have to concentrate on playing four quarters and be right on top,” Walsh said.

“I definitely think finals are realistic.

“We have a tough run to start the year. We play the top five teams.”

Old Collegians and Merrivale will play a stand-alone game tomorrow.

“It’s my first time playing on Good Friday and apparently they get good crowds so hopefully we can put on a good show and fingers crossed we get a win,” Walsh said.

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