Down and dirty. Not flashy. He relishes the toughness at football’s coalface and his 392 tackles in his first 96 league appearances stamped Rory Walton as one of the WAFL’s uncompromising hard men.
Now a dedicated disciple of yoga, former student studying to become a nutritionist and dietician, Walton was an under-13’s premiership player with Wembley Downs and enjoyed two under-age premierships with Marist under coach Matt Angus before breaking into the Claremont colts side in 2002. He had the disappointment of being in Claremont’s losing colts grand final side in 2003. His form was quite outstanding and he represented WA in the national under-18 carnival, was chosen in the WAFL colts team of the year ands finished third in the club fairest-and-best count.
Walton made his WAFL debut at 18 in the 2004 round-three match against East Fremantle, and along with all his mates, suffered the terrible disappointment of playing in three losing grand finals and a losing preliminary final. The year of 2006 was Rory’s standout season when he was runner-up to Daniel Bandy in the club’s fairest-and-best award. He then went travelling in the off-season and returned overweight at 88kg. However, a diet of hard running got him back on track and he played in all of Claremont’s 22 matches. He finished fourth in the fairest-and-best award, but when Prescott took the job as an assistant coach at Essendon and nothing was happening on the AFL front, Walton found himself at the crossroads.
“I was a bit disillusioned and even though my business as a personal trainer was going well I decided to have a bit of a break and go travelling,” he said. He was away for all the 2008 season and after making eight league appearances in 2009 he had a meeting with senior coach Simon McPhee and informed him that the travel bug was still biting.
Rory admits he’s “not the quickest bloke in the team,” but his strengths as a footballer are his unselfish nature, his stamina and endurance which enables him to get to contests, his ability to read the play and his good communication skills. A good overhead mark for his size, he shirks nothing on the field. He still carries a two- inch scar on his right temple, the legacy of a horrendous clash with an East Perth opponent. We think his body may be hosting an alien of sorts.
Had a remarkable season 2011. Played 13 on the trot after arriving late and polled votes in all but two games to run third in the B&F. Impressed with his runs to Coffs Harbour to see Mum and more so, his guest Canuk on arrival who had to leave 3 days later. Must have been Hales behaviour. Roza has returned to the West to complete his studies. Returned in 2013 for 17 games. Occupational ambition took him to Cairns in 2014 (and another losing GF), where he had his road to Damascus experience and committed to becoming a Firery. After training in Melbourne is completed, we anticipate Rozza will be posted to Ballina and commence hosing down the Cat's opposition in the QAFL.
Ran into fiery fitness and lobbed for a couple with the Magoos but a first quarter ankle in the second stopped him and his march towards further footy glory.
- Number: 15
- Born: 1985
- Weight: 77
- Height: 183
- Senior games played prior to this season: 30
- # of career games: 32
- Years Played.2011, 2013, 2015