Name: Joe Walsh
Position: Central Defender
Born: 13 May 1992 Cardiff
Former Club: MK Dons
Contract Expires: Unknown (penned a long term deal in 2021)
2020/21 Appearances 21 (4) Goals 0
Crawley Town Player of the Year 2013/14, Young Player of the Year 2013/14
Central defender Joe Walsh began his career with Swansea City, spending two years in their youth academy before being handed a full professional contract. He made his debut for them on August 10 2010, playing 90 minutes against Barnet in the Carling Cup as the Swans won 3-0.
Walsh played just one more game for the Swans, in the Carling Cup the following year, before being released. In 2012, he joined Crawley Town, scoring on his debut in the Johnstone Paint Trophy against Gillingham. He went on to score twice more that season, making 35 appearances in League One.
The following season he made 43 appearances for the Red Devils, scoring five times and he won the club’s Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year award. Ahead of the 2014/15 season, he was named club captain. In total he made 110 appearances in all competitions for Crawley, scoring nine goals.
In 2015 Walsh joined newly-promoted Championship side MK Dons, at first on loan, appearing twice before making the move permanent. Walsh made his Championship debut for the Dons in a 1-0 defeat away at Birmingham City, scored his first goal for them three weeks later as they beat Reading at Stadium MK. He spent five years with the Dons, often injury-hit, and made 145 appearances in total. He was part of the MK team that were vying with the Imps at the top of the table in the 2018/19 season and eventually he earned promotion with them finishing second to Danny Cowley’s Lincoln.
Walsh has been selected for Wales at under 21 level, making his debut against Iceland in February 2013. In October 2014 he was called into the Wales senior squad for Euro 2016 qualifying matches against Cyprus and Bosnia and Herzegovina but didn’t appear. As recently as November 2016 he was again called up to the Wales senior squad, for a 2018 World Cup qualifier against Serbia, but again didn’t play.
On August 13 2020, Walsh penned a deal with the Imps after turning down a contract with MK Dons. Upon arrival, he admitted he had spoken to former teammate Conor McGrandles about the Imps, and concluded he wanted to ‘play football’.
“I’m delighted now that it’s all done, and I can’t wait to get going and start training,” he told the club’s official site. “I’ve spoken to the gaffer a few times and he’s sold the club to me. I’ve seen the training ground which looks great and when I played at Lincoln, the fans were brilliant. I love defending and like to play a bit which is the main reason Lincoln brought me here, to play football.”
Despite appearing briefly in pre-season, Walsh found himself sidelined early on, coming into the team for his debut as we drew 0-0 away at Fleetwood Town. His first four appearances all brought clean sheets for the Imps, but injury then ruled him out against Doncaster, with the Imps losing 1-0. He returned to the side at the end of November as the Imps lost 2-0 at Plymouth in the FA Cup, and was a key figure throughout Christmas as City climbed to the top of League One. He picked up an injury in the 2-2 draw against Accrington, which looked to rule him out of action until April 2021 at the earliest.
On March 28th 2021, Joe penned a new ‘long-term’ deal with the club which could keep him at Sincil Bank until his early thirties at the earliest.