Carlton AFL star at pub launch

Tongala bound: Carlton AFL running machine Sam Walsh will appear on Sunday at Tongala pub for the official opening of his Great Uncle Kelvin’s hotel. Photo: AAP/Morgan Hancock Photo by MORGAN HANCOCK

Carlton AFL superstar Sam Walsh will be a special guest of his great uncle, and Tongala publican Kelvin Walsh, on Sunday for the official opening of the hotel.

Walsh, the AFL version, will feel right at home in Tongala for the Sunday, July 3 event as the walls are adorned with pictures of navy blue wearing premiership players from the club’s GVL glory years of the eighties.

While he is expected to attend with two other Carlton players, it will be 21-year-old Walsh - who celebrates his 22nd birthday on the day before his Tongala appearance - that garners the most attention on the day.

"I call him Celebrity Sam. His father lives at a Ocean Grove and has agreed to drive him up here,“ Kelvin said.

He is fresh off a 40 possession, best on ground, display against AFL top four aspirant Fremantle Dockers.

Walsh was the AFL’s number one draft pick in 2018 and has since racked up 65 games. He was the 2019 AFL rising star and was second in the club’s best and fairest in his first season.

He went one better by winning the John Nicholls Medal tin 2020 and finished fourth in the Brownlow. He recently signed a four year extension to stay with the finals bound Blues until the end of 2026.

Walsh’s younger brother, Henry, will also be at the opening - making it very much a family affair. He will be hard to miss, standing 203 centimetres, currently playing with Colac in the Geelong league.

Full details of the pub launch on page seven today.