Waack training with Box Hill

Future: Tristen Waack thoroughly impressed for Morwell in 2022, earning himself a spot at VFL side, Box Hill Hawks. Photograph supplied




MORWELL’S Tristen Waack has spent his summer on the track with Hawthorn Hawks’ VFL equivalent, Box Hill Hawks.

In doing so, as an early Christmas present, he was offered a playing contract for 2023.

When not on VFL duty, Waack is most likely to be seen locally, playing for Morwell in the Gippsland League, where he has welcomed individual success of late.

Just last season, as a 19-year-old, Waack came second in the league’s best and fairest, and was tied on votes going into the last round.

He was instantly summoned into the Gippsland League’s 22-under-22 side, in a season where he caught some eyes.

While at Box Hill, Waack has already learnt so much.

“Just being in the professional environment that they have is unreal,” Waack said.

“During the preseason there were lots of learning opportunities, especially in stoppage craft and ways to try and get on top of the midfield battle.”

Even though he missed out on the draft as an 18-year-old, the now 20-year-old’s goals is to still reach the AFL.

“I am certainly trying my best to get the attention of the right people,” Waack said.

“Putting the effort in at training and match simulation is hopefully helping my cause.

“The VFL season matches would certainly go a long way to getting the exposure to achieve this also.”

Despite the pressure that most young, high-level footballers are under, Waack has a focussed and appreciative mindset.

“It would be very meaningful to be able to take that next step and get minutes in the VFL,” he said.

“It would allow me to keep developing my footy more and also means that I’m a step closer to the goal of making the AFL.”

Though his eyes are set on bigger things, he still has a role to play for Morwell, and he believes they can achieve anything.

“With the group we have at Morwell, I feel that anything is possible,” he said.

“The group is young and excited for the season to start, but also has some experience throughout the team.”

The possibility of playing with talented footballers excites Waack, and it is all the more possible now at Box Hill.

“There are a few guys I’m excited to play with; Callum Brown and Patrick Naish, just coming out of the AFL system last year all signed at Box Hill,” he said.

“Another one I’m excited to play with is Cal Porter, he also played in the AFL, and being an experienced player with lots of knowledge about the game, he will be good to just be around and to learn off.”

Box Hill’s 2023 VFL season begins against Sydney Swans in NSW, on Sunday, March 26.

The Gippsland League gets under way on Saturday, April 1.