CARLTON midfield prodigy Sam Walsh has won the AFL Rising Star award.
The No.1 draft pick played all 22 games for the Blues in his debut season, averaging 25 disposals, five marks and three inside-50s.
Walsh polled 54 votes, 12 ahead of Port Adelaide forward Connor Rozee.
Richmond’s Sydney Stack finished third with 28 votes.
Walsh is just the fourth No.1 draft pick to win the Rising Star award, following in the footsteps of Andrew McGrath (2017), Brett Deledio (2005) and Nick Riewoldt (2002).
“To represent the Blues and the history of the club is quite amazing,” he said at Friday’s announcement in Melbourne.
“My goal was to do the best for myself and earn the respect of my teammates and that’s what’s landed me here.”
Blues coach David Teague said Walsh had a bright future ahead of him.
“Very few players play every match in their first season and fewer still consistently excite and deliver like he has,” Teague said.
“From the day he arrived at Carlton it was clear in the way he trained and prepared that he was going to be able to compete at the AFL level.
“I think that being a natural listener, a driven competitor and humble, he arrived at Carlton determined to learn which is why I am confident that we will see so much more from him in the years to come.”
A smooth-moving midfielder capable of winning his own ball, Walsh also took out the AFL Players’ Association best first-year player award on Thursday.
© AAP 2019