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Tex can match Buddy: Dangerfield

Joe Barton, AAP  January 27, 2013 1:14 PM

AFL 2012 2nd Semi Final - Adelaide v Fremantle

Taylor Walker will hold the key forward post for Adelaide in 2013

Buddy Franklin's very good, but I think Taylor Walker has the potential to be just as good
STAR Adelaide midfielder Patrick Dangerfield says man mountain Taylor Walker is a "force to be reckoned with" who is ready to challenge Hawthorn's Buddy Franklin as the AFL's premier key forward.

Dangerfield says the club quickly moved on from the defection of Kurt Tippett, who controversially joined the Sydney Swans in the off-season, and were ready to centre their attack on a bulked-up, mullet-sporting Walker.

And while Tippett kicked 39 goals for the Crows last season, Walker booted 63 and trailed just Franklin, Fremantle's Matthew Pavlich and Richmond's Jack Riewoldt for the Coleman Medal.

And Dangerfield says he's ready to rival the AFL's best in 2013 and doesn't deserve to have his rise compared to filling the breach left by Tippett.

"I don't know about fill the boots of Tippett - Tex (Walker) is his own man," Dangerfield told AAP.

"He kicks a goal just about better than anyone in the competition.

"I think he'll be a force to be reckoned with up forward for us.

"On his day, Buddy Franklin's very good, but I think Taylor Walker has the potential to be just as good a forward as him.

"He's an exciting prospect for us."

Without Tippett drawing key defenders in 2013, Dangerfield knows Walker will have a tougher time fighting for possession - but says his imposing 192cm, 105kg frame will be ready for the challenge.

"He was already pretty big. It was hard to increase his size," Dangerfield said.

"He's a power forward. He's 105 kilos.

"I think the challenge for him and the challenge for many young players like myself is to continue to build the consistency, and that's what he'll be setting himself for this year.

"We're hoping that he takes the next step. He knows he'll have the number one key defender every week this year.

"He's looking forward to that challenge along with our other key forwards. I think we've got a pretty potent forward line."

Tippett's extraordinary departure from Adelaide left a bad taste in the mouths of Crows players at the time, with Dangerfield insisting the club wanted to build around players 'who want to be part of our footy club'.

"He made the decision to leave and that's fine. We understand that," he said.

"Once Kurt decided to leave, we have to move on with players who want to be around the footy club.

"And that's the players that are on our list.

"We've got a really exciting group of players at the moment and I think we can play some really impressive football this year."