Assistant Premiership Coaches Added


James Monoghan has recently been recruited as Assistant Coach of the Southern Saints. Monoghan who currently plays for the University Blues club in the Auckland region has enjoyed a ten year association with the sport which includes New Zealand junior representation as well as representing New Zealand in the 2008  International Cup. Monoghan will take on a skills focus during his tenure at the Saints, where his own hand and foot skills will be passed on to those commencing in New Zealand’ s main domestic competition.

John  Jackson, current coach of the Eastern Bulldogs and Wellington Tigers has been appointed as an Assistant Coach for the Northern Sun for the upcoming AFL New Zealand Premiership season.

Jackson was a member and captain of the first New Zealand team to participate in the International cup in 2002 and has since been heavily involved with coaching within the Wellington region. His background extends to a significant coaching career with the Poneke Rugby Club, a club where he currently retains involvement as President. His balance between the codes has ensured that a constant stream of participants have been introduced to AFL over his many years of involvement.

Wellingtons Kieran Houlker has been selected as the Western Crows latest coaching assistant. Houlker’s involvement with junior talent programmes within the Wellington region will be an asset for the Crows.  Young talent is identified from the elite junior competitions and the AFL New Zealand Academy structure by way of Houlker’s involvement and then transitioned into senior football. The development of players 18 years and younger requires a closely monitored approach and signifies the importance of his role for the upcoming 2017 season.

Auckland based Michael Lentini will be added to the Central Giants coaching panel for the 2017 Premiership Season. Head Coach Rob Malone will mentor his new charge as Lentini graduates into his new coaching position. Recently commencing coaching with the junior development programme, Lentini will be in a good position to assist in working with young talent as they prepare for the step up into Senior competition. AFL New Zealand will release shortly Category 7, Development Players who have been earmarked as potential players in the 2017 season. These players are generally aged between 17 to 19 and have been identified as talented athletes with only minimal experience in the game. These players are distributed to the teams week to week with the players development managed by AFL New Zealand and the respective coaches.


The appointment of Assistant Coaching positions comes in conjunction with the announcement of Management positions for three of the four AFL New Zealand Premiership teams.


  • Western Crows have signed Aaron Tamariki as Team Manager for the 2017 season. Tamariki has moved from the Central Giants and now aligns with talented Crows forward and son Joseph Alesich-Tamariki.
  • Howard Gilbert from the University club will take on the management role for the Southern Saints as they look to stabilise their management team and work towards victory in 2017.
  • After managing several New Zealand youth teams over recent years, Steve Allen currently managing the Waitakere Magpies, will take on the role for the Northern Suns and will be of great assistance to lead coach Dave Abetz.
  • The Central Giants are yet to confirm their Team Manager but will finalise selection in the coming weeks.