During the 2016 AFL New Zealand Premiership, a selected number of players under the age of 18 were picked to be apart of the competition as development players. These players played for multiple clubs and were selected to further increase their skill base and knowledge of the sport.
We take a look at two of these players who will be turning 18 and making the jump development player to Premiership player.
Hailing from Counties Manukau Dawson Nanai has achieved a lot in his time playing AFL in New Zealand. The Southern Cross Campus student first fell in love with AFL when introduced to the sport though his School. In the last 12 months, Dawson has represented the NZ Hawks at Level 2 Academy and U18 level where he shined in both games. Fast on his feet, Dawson wouldn’t look out of place in any midfield.
Luke Dunning is a solid defensive player who doesn’t shy away from any contest. In his last year at Albany Senior High School in Auckland, Luke played as a few games as a development player in the 2016 Premiership but will make the step up in 2017. The 17 year old does not give up on the field and has shown his skills at representative level playing for the U16 NZ Hawks in 2015 and Level 2 Academy NZ Hawks in April of this year.