ONLY one thing could top off one of the busiest years of Kristian Jaksch’s life and that may come on November 22.
That’s when the Hawthorn 18-year-old hopes to hear his name called out at the AFL national draft to begin what he hopes will be a long and fulfilling career.
“I feel like I’ve had a season to deserve an opportunity and that’s basically all I’m hoping for,” Jaksch said.
“A lot of guys would give up their daily life to get an opportunity at AFL level, and I feel that with the work I’ve done this year and my ability as a footballer, I’ll give myself every opportunity come November 22.”
Jaksch, a 195-centimetre key position player from the Oakleigh Chargers, has certainly done all in his power to make sure the AFL recruiters notice him.
He was a member of the Vic Metro under-18 team that won the national championships and made the state team.
The Carey Grammar student was also named in the TAC Cup team of the year to add to his premiership with the Chargers.
“I had some things I wanted to achieve during the year and I feel I’ve done that,” he said. “I’ve had a pretty successful year, when you look back.”
Jaksch was invited to the AFL draft combine, which brought together the most talented juniors from around the country for a series of physical tests and interviews in front of watchful club recruiters and coaches.
The week was a mixed bag for Jaksch.
“I did my left hamstring in the 20-metre sprint, so I couldn’t do all the physical testing I would’ve liked,” he said. “But I felt like I interviewed pretty well, and that’s probably my strong point.
“I really enjoyed the week, although meeting the coaches was pretty intimidating.
“You see them all on television … when they’re in your face asking you questions, you understand the enormity of what you’ve got yourself into.”
Jaksch, a Richmond fan, would love to be donning the yellow and black next year but knows he has to be prepared to move to follow his dream.
“It would be nice to stay in Victoria where you can be close to your family and friends, but I think every kid that goes into the AFL draft knows that’s not necessarily going to happen,” he said. “I’m fully prepared for whatever might happen.”