Walker signs as a two-year Panther
IT WAS only 18 months ago that Ryan Walker was awarded the John Mackay Medal for being the best player on the field during the Group 2 grand final but he’s certainly gone a long way since that day when he helped Orara Valley to a thrilling extra-time victory.
Walker has just signed a two-year contract with the Penrith Panthers and was last week named as the 18th man for the NRL team, only just missing out on making his debut in the top flight.
The silky smooth runner’s rapid climb to the big time is one that resembles a football fairytale.
Playing in a trial match for the Windsor Wolves which is the State League feeder club for Penrith, Walker caught the eye of Panthers’ coach Matt Elliott and the rest as they say is history.
Already a popular member of the squad, the former Orara Valley star showed everyone that he’s capable of mixing it with the best at the top level when he scored a try in Penrith’s trial match win over Parramatta in the ‘Battle for the West’ Cup.
Depending on how a couple of the Penrith backline members pull up after their loss to North Queensland on the weekend, there is a chance that Walker will be making his NRL debut this weekend against the reigning premiers Melbourne.