The AFL New Zealand Rising star award for round 7 of the 2016 Premiership has been awarded to Heta Scarf Matthews of the Northern Suns.
Heta Scarf Matthews hails from Otago and has been playing AFL in Otago and with the AFLNZ High Performance Programme for the last 3 years. Scar-Matthews was awarded the Rising Star for his performance during Round 7’s game of the AFLNZ Premiership against the Southern Saints. His ability to position himself in the right spot is a positive attribute one that comes from his Soccer back ground. This coupled with his high work rate, consistency and continued improvement makes him a deserved recipient of the Rising Star.
National High Performance Manager Mick Coultard has been impressed with Heta’s performances for the Suns “Heta has taken the opportunity to perform when he has been given the chance, and doing it consistently for the Suns. His fitness, speed and understanding of smart defensive play are quality attributes that he brings to the game. Over the last few years he has been a regular in age group New Zealand Hawks Teams and I look forward to what he produces as he works to securing a position in the Senior team.”
What School do you attend?
Otago Boys High School
What kind of sports did you play growing up?
I grew up playing football, volleyball and touch.
How did you get into AFL?
My teacher at Otago Boys High School was Warwick Kain and he asked me to come down to a training one day with the Otago Riot and I guess it all started there.
What do you enjoy about playing AFL?
I just enjoy all aspects of the game, it incorporates so many different sports like football, rugby, basketball, volleyball etc and so people from all different sporting backgrounds can incorporate the skills from their chosen sport into the game of AFL.
What are your goals for AFL in the future?
My main goals are to make the New Zealand senior Hawks and go to the 2017 International cup.
What do you think your biggest advantage is out on the field?
My acceleration, speed and fitness would probably be my biggest advantages on the field as it helps getting away from defenders and keep running throughout the game, also knowing where to position myself on the field to collect the ball and supporting the play.