32 year old Peter Halstead, is a 190cm, lanky and rather unfashionable Miramar Rangers striker, with aspirations to make an impact in the 2017 AFL New Zealand Premiership as a ruck man.
Known as an unsung hero amongst football circles, the big centre forward has been part of relatively successful teams and a regular goal scorer throughout his career. Halstead has also had spells with Manawatu and 67 appearances and 16 goals for Team Wellington.
Currently working as a Physiotherapist and Exercise Trainer in Wellington’s CBD, Halstead was born and raised in Wellington. He travelled to Australia to complete his Masters Degree at The University of Sydney where he continued an affinity with AFL which started with Wellingtons perennial Grand Final winners, the Eastern Bulldogs.
Halstead will enter the AFL New Zealand National Draft and is sure to be a sought after prospect by the Southern Saints. With the loss of 2016 dominant ruck man Kahurangi Robinson to New Zealand Volleyball, a quality replacement will be required to assist Saints coach Warwick Kain and his potential gun midfield line up.
With the expected retention of the Saints New Zealand Hawks representative players, on ballers Ben Hick and Kyle Smith, first touch of the football at centre bounces will be a must.
Giants coach Rob Malone may well foil this plan with the Giants scheduled to receive first draft selection for the 2017 season. With young gun Max Hicks already retained by the Giants and most likely to play forward, Malone may look to bolster the rucking ranks occupied by Sean Andrews by in the inaugural season. This could free up key tall utility Stephen Parton to be shifted into defence or attack as required by the Giants.
The Western Crows would be expected to retain New Zealand reps Ty Smith and young talent William Warbrick to handle the rucking duties, whereas Northern Suns could look to improve their capabilities in this area. 2016 saw too much reliance placed on Captain James Kusel and marking back Mitchell Ryan who have both excelled in other key positions.
Tall timber will be a premium requirement and Halstead has shown ability in the regional Wellington league to service not only the a position in the 2017 AFL New Zealand Premiership, but will also turn the head of New Zealand Coach Rob Malone as he prepares his charges for the 2017 International Cup in August.