Josh Walker is in the AFL's top 10 this season for intercepts and marks. Picture: Chris Kidd
Josh Walker is in the AFL's top 10 this season for intercepts and marks. Picture: Chris Kidd

New deal looms for Lion Walker

LIONS vice-captain Harris Andrews is facing another week on the sidelines, giving resurgent defender Josh Walker more opportunity to push for a new deal.

Walker has built a strong case for a new contract, capping off a solid month by being one of the Lions' best in their 33-point victory over Hawthorn in Launceston on Saturday.

His outing against the Hawks was the best of his time as a Lion and it would have given the match committee some serous selection headaches had Andrews, who was knocked out against GWS in Round 14, been available for Saturday's clash with Adelaide at the Gabba.

 

Especially with Adelaide unlikely to challenge a one-match ban handed to captain Taylor Walker for high contact against Geelong's Zach Tuohy on Thursday night leaving them one tall short in attack.

However, Lions football manager David Noble said it was likely Andrews would face another week on the sidelines where his training load would be ramped up and tests done to see if concussion symptoms re-emerged with an elevated heart rate.

Harris Andrews is collected high by Jeremy Cameron.
Harris Andrews is collected high by Jeremy Cameron.

Coach Chris Fagan described Walker's Launceston day out as a "special game" and one he believed the player was capable of making his benchmark.

"When Josh is hungry and he's got a point to prove he's capable of that sort of performance,'' he said.

"He's been so consist the past four weeks and I hope with everything that I have got that he can maintain that consistency and get some real belief in himself that he can do that.

"It was a really special game, lot of intercept marks, great spoils, it was a special effort from him.''

Walker looked to have revived his career when he finished last season strongly playing the last nine games of the season spending time at either end of the ground.

Harris Andrews’ absence has given Walker an opportunity to press his case in the Brisbane defence. Picture: Getty Images
Harris Andrews’ absence has given Walker an opportunity to press his case in the Brisbane defence. Picture: Getty Images

However, a broken hand in the pre-season robbed him of a momentum and although he soon discovered his form in the NEAFL, he had a frustrating wait for regular senior opportunities as the club went with the Andrews - Darcy Gardiner defensive combination and in recent times a tall forward line consisting of Eric Hipwood, Dan McStay and resting ruckman Oscar McInerny.

After spending the majority of his career in attack, Walker said he had adapted to a defensive role where he used his instincts as a former forward to read the play and would now happily play anywhere to keep his spot in the seniors.

"I am genuinely happy to play either,'' he said.

"I want to not only cement my spot in the team, but actually play good footy for a side that is starting to play really well.''


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