Tim has been a regular member of the first grade side for the past 5 seasons and is one of a coterie of current players who went through the frustration of consecutive Grand Final losses to Manly Warringah in 2013 and 2014, then achieving the ultimate pay-off for all the hard work in last season’s extraordinary victory over Hills rivals East Coast Eagles.

Junior Footy

Tim started out as an Auskicker at around six years of age at local junior club Westbrook, where he played through to the Under 16s in his final season of juniors in 2008. He played 118 club games and kicked 62 goals. He says he won four best & fairest awards, including in his last two seasons in the Under 15s and 16s. Tim also played junior representative football including the Under 14 Sydney Starz in 2006. Such was his obvious football talent that he was selected for an AFL Scholarship with the Geelong Cats in 2008. Under the same program, other current club-mates to receive a scholarship include Ranga Ediriwickrama (Geelong in 2007), Michael Johnston (Hawthorn in 2006), Lachy Urwin (also Geelong in 2008) and Stevie Wray (Sydney Swans in 2009). So, Tim ended up at Geelong at around the same time as Ranga, however, as Tim wryly notes “Ranga actually got drafted, I didn’t!”

Tim is a left foot kick and has played the majority of his football as a midfielder. Many of the attributes he displayed as a junior are still very much the essential qualities that he displays as a mature footballer. Here’s what some of his coaches said of him:

A naturally gifted footballer. Has heart, speed, fitness and skill …

[a] very impressive on-baller.

A prolific ball-getter, a natural leader and a great player to coach.

Of his efforts in his last season in the Under 16s, he was “one of the elite players in a tough competition.


Senior Footy

Tim, popularly known as ‘Waler’, first played Under 18s footy in 2008 when only 16 years old. He played 34 under-age games over three seasons and during that time he played a couple of open-age games in the reserves and made his Premier Division debut as an 18 year old in Round 8 of 2010 against East Coast Eagles, under Senior Coach Kevin Eynaud. Unfortunately, this match proved not to be the greatest start to his first grade career as Pennant Hills were smashed by almost 10 goals. East Coast would go on to win the second of three consecutive Grand Finals that season. In the Club Notes for his debut round, it was noted that “yet another youngster, Tim Wales, made his senior debut and showed promise for the future.

In 2011, his appearances for Penno were limited (5 games only) due to his commitments as a top-up player for the Swans Reserves NEAFL side. During this time he got to play with future Swans star Luke Parker and also played against “Dylan Shiel and a lot of the young GWS and Gold Coast players when they started out in the NEAFL.

From 2012, however, he has been fully committed to Pennant Hills and has been a mainstay of the Premier Division side for the past five seasons. He has been a member of the leadership group, voted by his peers, for the past two seasons. He was third in the 2012 Best & Fairest voting, winning the Most Consistent award. He has also played a few games in the AFL Sydney Representative Team (2013) and the AFL Sydney Development Squad (2012).

Waler says that he never won a premiership at Westbrook, so winning last season’s epic Grand Final against arch rivals, East Coast Eagles, is “easily the career highlight.” Meeting Gary Ablett and a number of the Geelong guns during his scholarship years was also a great thrill.

At 24, Tim is approaching the peak of his powers in his footy career. With continued hard work and a strong desire to succeed he has a great opportunity to reach new heights in his skills and endeavours on the footy field for a good few years yet. He has great leadership potential and should continue to be a positive role model for younger players coming through the ranks.

Waler has already achieved much in footy and we congratulate him on his 100 game milestone. We all watch with interest to see how far Waler can progress as a footballer and where he will finally rate in the Demons pantheon. With the right attitude, hard work and a little luck, playing 200 games should be a cinch!

Well done Waler.

Go Penno!

Written & compiled by John Acheson for PHAFC, Saturday 2 July 2016