New AFL coaching role for Walsha
Former Cavan footballer Nicholas Walsh has been elevated to a senior coaching position with AFL franchise Greater Western Sydney as the full weight of the drugs controversy involving Essendon players hits home.
Walsh steps up to become interim backline coach in the wake of Mark McVeigh's ban from the sport for the 2016 season.
McVeigh, who had been backline coach, was one of 34 past or present Essendon players implicated in the controversy and banned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Walsh, who spent time in the AFL as a rookie with Melbourne before returning home in 2003, went back to Australia to take up a role with the new franchise as a strength and conditioning coach five years ago and progressed to become a developmental coach with one of the youth teams.
The latest move is a significant step for someone who had only a limited time playing AFL but always had an ambition to coach rather than remain on the sports science pathway at the club.
"The circumstances under which I'm stepping into this role are unfortunate but nonetheless I'm excited about the challenge ahead this season," said Walsh, who spent a number of seasons with Cavan but was beset by a sequence of injuries.
He was also involved with the Irish International Rules team during Paul Earley's management.