The AFL New Zealand Rising star award for round 8 of the 2017 Premiership has been awarded to Blake Nahu from the Central Giants.
Formerly a New Zealand Warriors U18 player, Blake hasn’t had a long AFL career in NZ but has made a big impact with his impressive skills and supreme fitness. Currently studying a Bachelor of Business at the University of Waikato, Nahu travels to Auckland each week to play in the Premier competition and has been consistent all season for his side, the Central Giants. Nahu also boasts one of the best handballs in the competition. In 2016, Blake made his New Zealand U18 debut in Melbourne and has been named in the squad to travel over again in May this year.
“Blake Nahu has had a pretty outstanding and consistent Premiership season and continues to develop each game he plays. Through this season he now equates his game total to just 20 games of AFL. With his understanding growing each game and his physical athletic presence Blake will be a feature in the U18 New Zealand team touring to Melbourne in May.” National Youth Manager, Mick Coultard
AFLNZ asked Blake some questions after the game.
What School do you attend?
Western Heights High School in Rotorua and now attend the University of Waikato.
What kind of sports did you play growing up?
League, Rugby, Cricket, Touch and Basketball.
How did you get into AFL?
I attended an AFL Have a Go training session in the Waikato last year. This lead to attending the national combine and playing in the AFLNZ Youth Competition before playing in the Premiership.
What do you enjoy about playing AFL?
It’s different to League and Rugby and has it’s own unique vibe.
What are your goals for AFL in the future?
To keep improving and take every opportunity that I am given.
What do you think your biggest advantage is out on the field?
My Handball. I like to think it is pretty accurate.