"It's a tough one, and as long as I'm playing a contact sport, I will have to keep working on it" 5 years ago

"It's a tough one, and as long as I'm playing a contact sport, I will have to keep working on it"

Tommy Walsh is enjoying life as a club footballer for now.


In 2009 the Kerryman headed Down Under with the world at his feet. He had the pick of the AFL clubs and eventually it was St Kilda who won the race to secure his signature.

He'd spend two years there in Melbourne before transferring to the Sydney Swans in 2011. He'd go onto make five senior appearances for the Swans, but a series of nagging injuries ensured that his AFL experience was a tough one.

An injury he sustained just as he was beginning to come of age in 2013 was the one that eventually put paid to his oval ball dreams. He was showing well in a game against Essendon before his hamstring ripped clean off the bone as he stretched to claim a ball.


A gruesome injury, it was the same one that would end Paul O'Connell's rugby career. It was a full year before Walsh would play another game in Australia, but it was no surprise that it took him a while to find his feet again.

The injury was so bad that during his spell on the sidelines, his primary aim wasn't to get back to full flight, it was more to get back playing at all.

"The biggest thing for me was that I'd be able to play sport at some level again," he said to Colm Parkinson on Thursday's GAA Hour Show.

And then he went on to describe the grimness of that injury.


"It's pretty bad...Even after that year, I still had complications with it. I missed the whole summer last year with the same hamstring, it might only be 75 or 80% of the one on the right. I have to work on it all the time to keep it there.

"It's a tough one, and as long as I'm playing a contact sport, I will have to keep working on it to make sure it doesn't come back again," he said.

As a 26-year-old in 2014, he decided he'd had enough of the Australian dream and he made his way back to Kerry.

"I was very anxious to get back with Kerry and they were very anxious for me to come in," he said.


But that didn't go as planned either and despite a few League appearances, he never got a consistent run in the team under Eamon Fitzmaurice, and in 2016 he decided it was time to call it a day.

On Sunday, Walsh scored 2-2 as his club Kerins O'Rahillys pulled off a surprise win over Kingdom kingpins Dr Crokes.

"I haven't missed any games with the club this year, that's probably made the whole thing a little bit more enjoyable for me," he said.

"There's less pressure at that level. It's probably been the first time since 2012/2013 that I've been able to play a consistent batch of games."

He looked back to his best out there.


But even with Kieran Donaghy's retirement leaving a gap to fill at the edge of the square, he hasn't thought about a Kerry comeback.

"It's not really something I'm thinking about...I'll be putting all my focus on my club over the next couple of months," he said.

You can listen to the Tommy Walsh interview, and much more from The GAA Hour Show here.