Mt Albert’s Wallace wins MVP
What he lacks in makes up for in talent.
Zae Wallace, 17, has made his way into the Mt Albert Lions premier rugby league team, the youngest player in the club this season.
Wallace is most likely the smallest halfback you will see in the Fox Premier Rugby League Competition.
Standing at 163cm and 64kg, the Year 13 Westlake Boys High School student continues to impress Mt Albert coach Willie Swan with his willingness to learn and hunger to improve. size, he
Swan speaks very highly of Wallace - a player with great vision and instinct.
Since his debut in round two, Wallace has played 13 games for the club, scoring three tries and kicking a goal.
‘‘I’m not the biggest halfback in the competition but I don’t think that size matters at all,’’ Wallace says.
‘‘It’s about the heart and courage to determine what you are as a player and I feel that I have the courage to play in the big leagues.’’
Strong words for a person who didn’t like, let alone, play rugby league at all until three years ago.
Until 2013 Wallace was a rugby player. It was in a game he played for Northcote Tigers against an Australian club that he fell in love with the sport.
‘‘Funny enough I was playing against Mt Albert when I was with Northcote in my first year. Their coach then, Daniel Hall said he liked the way I played and asked me if I wanted to play for him the following year.’’
He was awarded the Under 17 MVP award in his first year at Mt Albert Lions. Wallace continues to be recognised for his talent, picking up the 2016 SAS College Rugby League MVP and halfback of the year in the 1st XIII team. He has also been named in the NZ Under 18.
‘‘My mum Rose has had the biggest impact on my sport, taking me to trainings and games. My dad too and my brother Vann from playing all those games in the backyard.
‘‘When I get strapped up before a game I always write my mum and my girlfriend’s name on my wrist, and also write Valley Boys which stands for all my close boys from Beach Haven.
‘‘They are my closest friends and they come to all my games. They are very important to me and I need them with me on the field.’’
Zae Wallace, with SAS managing director Tim Connolly, is now focused on playing club footy with the Mt Albert Lions.