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Crow tips Walker to rival Franklin

Date
Adelaide key forward Taylor Walker.

Adelaide key forward Taylor Walker. Photo: David Mariuz

STAR Adelaide midfielder Patrick Dangerfield says Taylor Walker is ready to challenge Hawthorn's Lance Franklin as the AFL's premier key forward.

Dangerfield said the club had moved on from the defection of Kurt Tippett, who joined Sydney in the off-season, and was ready to base its attack around Walker.

While Tippett kicked 39 goals for the Crows last season, Walker booted 63 and trailed only Franklin, Fremantle's Matthew Pavlich and Richmond's Jack Riewoldt for the Coleman Medal.

Dangerfield said Walker was ready to rival the AFL's best in 2013 after bulking up during the off-season.

''I don't know about filling the boots of Tippett - 'Tex' [Walker] is his own man,'' Dangerfield said.

''He kicks a goal just about better than anyone in the competition.

''I think he'll be a force to be reckoned with up forward for us.

''On his day, Buddy Franklin's very good, but I think Taylor Walker has the potential to be just as good a forward as him.''

Without Tippett drawing defenders in 2013, Walker will have a tougher time fighting for possession.

But Dangerfield said that Walker's imposing 192-centimetre, 105-kilogram frame would be ready for the challenge.

''He was already pretty big. It was hard to increase his size,'' Dangerfield said.

''He's a power forward. I think the challenge for him and the challenge for many young players like myself is to continue to build the consistency, and that's what he'll be setting himself for this year.

''We're hoping that he takes the next step. He knows he'll have the number one key defender every week this year.

''He's looking forward to that challenge along with our other key forwards.

''I think we've got a pretty potent forward line.''

Tippett's extraordinary departure from Adelaide left a bad taste in the mouths of Crows players.

But Dangerfield insisted the club wanted to build around players ''who want to be part of our footy club''.

''He made the decision to leave and that's fine. We understand that,'' he said.

''Once Kurt decided to leave, we have to move on with players who want to be around the footy club.

''And that's the players who are on our list.

''We've got a really exciting group of players at the moment and I think we can play some really impressive football this year.''

AAP

23 comments

  • And the captain of the Titanic said "What iceberg?". The worst haircut in the competition is going to get the best defender and the third man in. Gee Pat don't you reckon that Tippett drew the opposition defence and Tex reaped the benefit. Not this year son.

    Commenter
    connolly
    Location
    wollongong
    Date and time
    January 28, 2013, 10:05AM
    • Yes, interesting comment, the Pies struggled when one of their big guys retired after winning the flag, Eagles struggled last year when Kennedy got injured and Darling drew the gun defender.

      Walker is a very good player, but I suspect having Tippet in the lineup helped him kick a few, so lets see how he goes this year.

      The best sides usually have a gun full forward, centre half forward and a great crumber / small forward, so IMO if you dont have 3 guys up front who can kick goals, you are too easy to close down come finals time.

      Commenter
      Lats
      Date and time
      January 28, 2013, 12:19PM
  • He's already better. He can kick straight.

    Commenter
    RONOSON
    Location
    MELBOURNE
    Date and time
    January 28, 2013, 10:39AM
    • Bulking up the "bloke from Bundanyabba", talk about sending shivers down the spine of ageing, passed there used by date backmen.

      Full forwards of the calibre of young Walker solidify teams and team spirit, not to mention supporters.

      Personally I'm looking forward to the season with great expectation. I tend to feel we are in for a blockbuster, so much talent, skilled younger generations forging their mark, it is most infectuous.

      Roll on the opening game.

      Commenter
      Wake in Fright
      Location
      NNE of Balranald
      Date and time
      January 28, 2013, 10:54AM
      • Bulking up... Does this mean his mullet will be even bigger than last year?

        Commenter
        Big Call
        Date and time
        January 28, 2013, 11:36AM
        • If Walker loses a grand final for the crows like buddy did for the hawks with his woeful kicking / choking in front of goal then only then can they be compared!

          Commenter
          jim bob
          Location
          windy hill
          Date and time
          January 28, 2013, 11:37AM
          • Are you serious?! Buddy was one of Hawthorn's best in the GF, if anything, he kept them in the game. Walker may rival Buddy for the Coleman, but won't come close as a player. Until Walker can outrun opponents from goal to goal, get kicks outside the 50 metre arc, crumb the ball at ground level, lay tackles and kick goals on the run, you're comparing apples and oranges. Even Travis Cloke does more work up the ground.

            If Tex has bulked up, he'll have less running capacity. He'll be able to rag doll defenders one-on-one, but coaches will quickly get a defender as a third man up. Even if he gets out one-on-one, his teammates will need to be accurate with their kicks.

            Tex may win a Coleman, but I know which player coaches will be more concerned about.

            Commenter
            JelloNash
            Date and time
            January 28, 2013, 3:52PM
          • You have a point about Buddy's accuracy , tho' you're wronng to say he lost Hawthorn the GF. Several players were down on form and all the Swans played well. (It was like the 2008 GF in reverse when G'long had stars down and they missed goals and all the Hawks played their best game all year.) Where the comparison of Walker to Franklin falls down is 1) Buddy is very good at goal assists - quick and happy to give them away , unlike almost every other gun forward , he's a great TEAM player.
            2) He's also brilliant at ground level for a big man -and quiick- which Walker isn't .
            Even if i didn't barrack for Hawthorn i would take less than a nano-second to decide which one of them i'd want in my team. Dangerfield himsellf is a very good player , not so good as a foooty analyst. He's just talking his team up , i suspect . Whether that's newsworthy is another question.

            Commenter
            daniel
            Location
            rural nsw
            Date and time
            January 28, 2013, 6:37PM
          • I think you are correct about Buddy kicking the Hawks out of the flag.

            Not the only forward capable of that though. Running around like a lose tappet with a bit of natural flair does not compare to the discipline of the true professional, remember Plugger and Lloyd, and the "bloke from Bundanyabba" is looking the goods.

            Commenter
            Wake in fright
            Location
            NNE of Balranald
            Date and time
            January 29, 2013, 11:17AM
          • As good as Lockett was, he simply would not get drafted today. And if he did, he'd be sure to miss at least half a season through suspension. Lloyd ended his career prematurely because Knights wanted a more even spread of goalkickers, and pushed Lloyd up the ground.

            You can hate Buddy all you want, but he is one of the greatest athletes in Australian sport, and it takes a lot of discipline to get to that level.

            Commenter
            JelloNash
            Date and time
            January 29, 2013, 12:47PM

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