After impressing in his time as a Tiger at the Twin Ovals, Glenorchy Magpie Mitch Walker is enjoying being back in the famous black and white.
Walker, now 21, is a product of Glenorchy’s junior system, having played at KGV for nearly 11 years before falling out of love with the game and leaving the sport aged 16.
After returning via Bothwell in the ODFA, and then playing a key role for the Tigers in recent times, Walker is back loving his football, with this enthusiasm evident in a strong round one display, kicking five goals in a big win over 2017 grand finalists Lauderdale.
“It was a good win, my first game back for the club after playing so many years there as a junior.
“It was a good start to kick five goals. When you have Motty (Rhys Mott), Brayden Webb and others kicking it to you it’s great. Hopefully I can kick a few more,” Walker said.
Despite the Tigers appearing to be a side on the rise, Walker holds no regrets in making the move to Glenorchy.
“They are all still my mates at Kingborough and they supported me in my decision.
“It is great to get off to a winning start and to play a role in that. The delivery I got on the weekend was fantastic,” he said.
Walker had an injury-interrupted off season, being forced to miss the majority of practice matches with a foot complaint.
This issue plagued the talented Magpie’s preseason so much so that it caused his selection for the club’s season opener nearly never happened.
“I wanted to secure my spot. Because of an injury in my foot I missed a lot of the preseason and most practice matches, and I was told Paul Kennedy was persuaded to play me by the other coaches so when I was picked I wanted to make the most of my chance and make a mark.
“The structures we have at Glenorchy will hopefully help me kick a few more goals as the season goes on,” he said.
The Magpies were dominant against Lauderdale, moving the ball with great freedom and precision across the entire afternoon with the likes of Mott, Webb, Jaye Bowden, Mitch Rainbird, Daniel Joseph and Callen Daly all playing dominant games alongside Walker.
Walker insists the club entered the season with a respected set of players, but comments that the influence of new coach Paul Kennedy cannot be understated.
“He (Kennedy) has brought a lot to the club. The club was good where they were at but having someone like ‘PK’ coming over has been fantastic. He really knows what he is on about and is a top bloke to go with it,” Walker said.
Glenorchy will have a fantastic opportunity to measure its own form when the Magpies travel to UTAS Stadium to face the high-flying Northern Bombers, a side Glenorchy has developed a strong rivalry with in recent years.