The AFL New Zealand Rising star award for round 9 of the 2016 Premiership has been awarded to Josh Mackie of the Western Crows.
Currently at Otago Boys High School in Dunedin, Mackie is still new to the game but jumped at the opportunity to be involved in the AFLNZ Premiership. His fearless way he takes on the game has been noticed by his coach Rob Malone and has been rewarded for his efforts by playing as a ruck rover in the middle of the field against much older counterparts. His agility along with his height gives him the ability to take strong marks but also the attribute of evading players. National High Performance manager has been impressed with Josh in every game he has played and sees a lot of potential in the 16 year old.
“Josh has impressed as a young development player playing full games for the first time through the AFLNZ Premiership and making second efforts with no concern of the bigger bodies around him. Courageous and fast Josh has secured his position in the NZ Hawks Academy Level 2 team and I look forward to how well he will play against his peers.”
AFL New Zealand had a chat with Josh after the game.
What School do you attend?
Otago Boys High School in Dunedin
What kind of sports did you play growing up?
I always played Rugby and Touch Rugby when I was growing up.
How did you get into AFL?
My School PE teacher Warwick Kain was always talking about coming down to play as he thought I would suit the sport.
What do you enjoy about playing AFL?
I enjoy AFL because it takes a variety of skills to play the game and because it is more suited to my body size than other sports.
What are your goals for AFL in the future?
My goals are to make the U18 NZ Hawks and hopefully the senior team in the future.
What do you think your biggest advantage is out on the field?
I think my height and speed are my main advantages.