Football and family
Tuesday, 30th March, 2021
By Peter Argent
Taylor Walker was honoured in the opening game of the Adelaide Crows 2021 season, by leading his club into battle with his former co-captain and current leader Rory Sloane.
Adding to the day, both Walker and Sloane, acknowledged their respectively family’s, by having their children in their arms.
Walker was first to enter Adelaide Oval, with Hugo, and wife Ellie and baby Louis, born in January, in his arms, with Sloane following behind with his lads, Leo and baby, Bohdi.
Celebrating his family worked wonders for Walker’s form, as he produced a best on ground performance.
In what is being called, “The upset of the season in round 1” where a tenacious and desperate Adelaide Crows defeated one of the flag favourites and 2020 Grand Finalists, Geelong by 12 points, the win lifted the mood of the state.
In the 15.13 (103) to 13.13 (91) victory, Walker was the dominant forward in the contest, kicking five goals, including four in the first half.
Much maligned across the entire 2020 season, Walker, now 30, turned back the clock with 5.2 in a vintage display that included several long range bombs from outside 50.
Walker finished with 18 disposals (11 kicks and seven handballs) along with pulling down seven marks and winning a couple of hit outs.
Crows Senior Coach Matthew Nicks gave an insight in Taylor Walker’s superb performance against Geelong and his strong form entering this season.
Under some public pressure last year over his performance in 2020, going into this year’s campaign, senior coach Matthew Nicks said it wasn’t Walker that had changed.
“If I’m being honest, the difference is not Tex,” Nicks explained in the post-game media conference.
“Tex is in the same position as he was last year: worked super hard, trained the house down.
“But Tex has made his teammates better.
“Now his teammates give him better delivery, they bring the ball in more often - and he’s a competitor.
“He’s worked these guys, showed them the standard over the break and said, ‘This is the level you train at, are you coming with us or not coming with us’.”