Sam Walker – 200 senior games
After a somewhat long but nevertheless highlight filled journey Sam Walker will celebrate his 200th senior game this weekend.
After winning club B&F’s in his top age under 16 and bottom age under 18 seasons, Sam made his senior debut as a top age thirds player in the round 6 clash against Moe in 2006. He made an immediate impression and played a total of 11 games (including 2 finals) in the seniors before returning to the thirds at the pointy end of the season.
The following year Sam became a permanent fixture in the senior side. His determined and unyielding approach coupled with a clinical and hard-edged playing style saw him develop into a highly regarded defender. From 2007 – 2012 he played 107 games out of a possible 119 including 17 finals and collected 3 premiership medals along the way from 4 grand final appearances.
After quickly racking up 118 games to the end of 2012, Sam’s output slowed considerably. A combination of work and family commitments, coupled with injuries severely limited his games tally in the ensuing seasons. However, Sam’s professionalism and ability to perform on match day meant that despite his at times limited availability, he remained in the forefront of the selector’s minds and was an automatic selection when available.
Sam was a key member of the 4 consecutive grand final clashes against Leongatha from 2016-19. The quintessential no-nonsense defender had some memorable clashes with the Leongatha forwards during this period and collected two more premiership medals in 2016 and 2019. His efforts in 2016, when he held Leongatha’s leading goal scorer to a single goal over two finals was particularly noteworthy. He was duly recognised on presentation night as the team’s best finals player of that premiership year.
In a testament to his durability and value to the side, Sam has played an incredible 35 finals – including 8 grand finals – and currently holds the club record for finals played.
With 5 premierships, a record number of finals, interleague representation and best and fairests at junior level, Sam is highly respected by his team mates and opponents alike.
His reputation will only be further enhanced when he celebrates his 200th senior game and is awarded automatic life membership of the club.
Congratulations and good luck.
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