Josh Ward has officially commenced his new life as a Hawk, just 36 hours after being drafted.
The youngster, who was taken at Pick 7 in the NAB AFL Draft on Wednesday, arrived at the club for his first day on Friday.
Speaking to SEN Breakfast on Friday, Ward said although he was thrown into the deep end early, he wouldn't have it any other way.
“It was definitely a wake up call, but it’s great to get started straight away," Ward said.
"You haven’t got too much time at home to sit and think about things which is good I think.
"I had a tour of the club, a chat to a few of the coaches and then a team meeting going over a bit of game play stuff – I’ll need to bring a notebook next time because we went over a fair bit of information."
Ward, who is a lifelong Hawthorn supporter, also has strong family ties to the club following his great-grandfather's Alex Lee 31-game career with the Hawks in 1930s.
He said being able to wear the brown and gold felt extra special.
"I would've been very grateful to go to any AFL club, but for it to be Hawthorn is pretty unbelievable. It definitely means that little bit more to me," he said.
“I did dream this would happen, but never would've really believed it growing up."
Speaking to RSN Breakfast Club on Friday, Ward said that the reality of his new life started to sink in the following day after he was drafted.
"It was pretty overwhelming at first, I was very happy to have my name called out," Ward said.
“But I had a bit of time at home Thursday to just adjust to it all and appreciate the fact that I’m an AFL player now, so it’s a pretty awesome feeling."
The 181cm midfielder is known for his elite running capacity and his ability to work hard around the ground all day.
Although a reliable and trustworthy ball-getter by hand and foot, Ward is someone who can be creative as well and make it hurt with his disposal.
The 18-year-old said despite facing interrupted seasons due to the coronavirus pandemic, he didn't find it challenging to stay on track and work towards his goal of an AFL career.
“I don’t really find it difficult to motivate myself at all because I knew that footy was what I wanted to do," Ward said.
“It really helped having a good mate in Ned Long (fellow draft prospect) to train with throughout the whole COVID-19 period – it meant I didn’t have any excuses not to train.
“I was able to constantly run three times a week and got to the gym as well because I knew the sessions would be enjoyable having someone else there with me.”
The youngster will now prepare to get stuck into his first training session with Hawthorn on Saturday.
“I have to focus on what’s right in front of me and what I have to do to get better," Ward said.
“I'm excited to get stuck into pre-season and learn as much as I can from all my teammates."