The AFL New Zealand National Draft will see all players placed into one of seven list categories. Highlighting the logistics of the competition and scheduling at North Harbour Stadium, the list categories are determined by age and regions throughout New Zealand.
Once an initial playing list has been established, athletes have their names entered into the AFL New Zealand National Draft, enabling coaching staff from the four competing teams (Northern Suns, Western Crows, Central Giants and Southern Saints) to select their 2017 AFL New Zealand Premiership playing rosters. Ongoing talent identification carried out through local, regional and national competitions, is utilized for further additions.
Category 1 Auckland Senior
Players based in the Auckland region born 1998 or older
Category 2 Regional Senior
Players based in Canterbury, Wellington and Dunedin born 1998 or older (Flights required)
Category 3 Satellite Senior
Players based in satellite venues such as Northland, Bay of Plenty, Waikato born 1998 or older
Category 4 Auckland Academy
Players based in the Auckland region born 1999
Category 5 Regional Academy
Players based in Canterbury, Wellington, Northland, Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Dunedin born 1999
Category 6 Wild Card Entry
These players are not involved in the initial playing list and draft selection but are added through the following processes;
- Ongoing talent identification carried out through local, regional and national competitions
- Those players currently playing in regional leagues and yet to be listed
- Academy players for development purposes
- Overseas players dependent on availability
Category 7 Development Players
These players are distributed to the teams week to week with the players development managed by AFL New Zealand and the respective coaches.