Mornington Peninsula players Matt Mayne and Khyal Jacobson will travel over to NZ from Victoria this week to play in the 2017 AFLNZ Premiership.
The two players are representatives of the Beleura Junior Football Club (based in Mornington 50km south of Melbourne) and return to New Zealand after first visiting the country with the Under 16 AFL South East representative side in April of 2016, playing against the Level 2 New Zealand Academy team in Auckland.
Matt’s father, Glenn Mayne was thrilled with last years AFL South East Tour to NZ. “In my near 40 years of involvement in football as a player and official I can say that the 2016 NZ tour was one of the best experiences I have ever been involved with.”
Matt and Khyal have played over 150 games for their club and have represented the Mornington Peninsula Junior Football League on multiple occasions.
“I think that AFL New Zealand are now piloting a fantastic initiative. Not only can Australian kids get an opportunity to play the game they love in another Country at an elite level, they can also benefit in being billeted out with a local family and experience their culture, customs, beliefs, religion and way of life.” Glenn saw the benefits of teams from Australia touring NZ.
Matt plays in the forward line for his club and is known to be a very good set shot in front of goal. He has won the leading goal kicker award twice and will be a good addition in the forward line for any of the four AFL New Zealand Premiership teams. Their involvement will be as Development Players and follow a similar pathway to AFL New Zealand Academy who are introduced to Senior football through New Zealand s premier competition.
Khyal is a hard running midfielder with elite fitness and ability. He has previously been the league Best and Fairest winner and also runner up and could suit being rotated in the midfield.
“For a number of years now, Kiwis have had to move off shore to experience quality football. The aim of the AFLNZ Premiership is to provide a pathway that allows New Zealand’s elite players the opportunity to compete in a meaningful competition without the need to move to Australia. We are hopeful on attracting more players from Australia to compliment the development of AFL.” AFLNZ CEO Robert Vanstam.
As part of their experience the two boys will also have the opportunity to undertake work experience with AFL New Zealand over a two week period.