The AFL New Zealand Premiership teams have completed another step towards finalising player lists with further player selections through the Secondary Draft.
Following on from completing Retained Player Lists for the four AFL New Zealand Premiership teams, each side commenced its player ranks with 13 players listed and retained from the previous season.
AFL New Zealand Premiership Coaches then participated in the National Draft on November 22nd and added a further 9 players to their team lists for a total of 22 players with more to be added with this and future Secondary Draft selections.
Central Giants select Tristan Burnett
Australian born Burnett has played football in both the Otago and Auckland regions since his move to New Zealand. Having represented Otago at the 2014 National Provincial Championship whilst completing his medical degree, Burnett moved to Auckland and is now with the Mount Roskill Saints Club where he plays a role in the midfield.
Northern Suns select Alex Awatere
Wellington based and North City Demons player Awatere, was first identified in the National Secondary Schools competition, the Hawks Cup, participating with Aotea College. With his involvement in the High Performance programme over the last three years and now representative honours with the New Zealand Hawks at Under 18 level in May 2016, Alex continues to progress his game and this could be a break out season for him as he pursues Senior honours.
Western Crows select Dan Young
The former Canterbury Cobras player is a great signing for the Crows. Young relocated to Australia and now plays for the Bond University Sharks within the Queensland AFL. After winning the QAFA (B) South premiership in 2014, and the QAFA (A) premiership this year, the Bull Sharks were promoted to the QFA South competition for season 2016. The Sharks were narrowly defeated by Coorparoo in the 2016 season and there is no doubt Young will have picked up invaluable experience playing the game within a reputable league and the Bond University Club. He has targeted New Zealand representation and International Cup selection for the 2017 season and Coach Chris Mundell is hopeful Young can make an impact during his availability period.
Southern Saints select Tom Hayhoe
A new comer to the sport of AFL, Tom Hayhoe will join North Shore Tiger local team mates Andrui Sucu, Brandon Sucu, Justin Du Toit, Josh Cunliffe, Keegan McCauley, Troy Brown and Tyler Paull at the Southern Saints for the 2017 AFLNZ Premiership Season. The 21 year old made some good progress during the Auckland AFL competition during the 2016 season and will be hoping to further his development with the Southern Saints in 2017
Southern Saints select Zac Maio
Maio currently with the Mt Roskill Club has a wealth of experience at regional level with seven seasons based at the Mount Roskill Saints. Selected in the New Zealand Under 16 team in 2009, Maio played in illustrious company with Hawthorns Kurt Heatherley, former Hawk and current Melbourne Storm player Shem Tatupu and current Warrior David Fusitua in AFL New Zealand’s commencement of the junior talent pathway. The AFL New Zealand Premiership to some extent has provided a great opportunity for Zac to further develop his game at the age of 23. The Premiership is seen as the perfect opportunity for a higher level competition providing an extension to the traditional regional league seasons spanning between August to December each year. Hard at the ball, he will provide some great back up for an already talented midfield at the Saints.
Western Crows select Sam Traynor
Teenager Traynor has already experienced Senior football in both Wellington and now Canterbury regional leagues. Currently with the Mid Canterbury Eagles, Traynor has had showcased some good form over the past two seasons. Representing the Wellington Tigers in provincial matches last year of the back of a strong season with Wellington City Saints, he was runner up in both Best and Fairest for club (Mid Canterbury Eagles) and competition (Canterbury AFL) in 2016. Currently attending Canterbury University, Traynor is likely to provide the Crows with another ball winner to their ranks.
Northern Suns select Callum McLean
Success seems to follow the experienced McLean. Well known in both the Waikato and Auckland for his strong defensive work and his attack on the ball, McLean has a coaching background that will add to the Suns leadership capabilities. McLean played for and coached the Mount Roskill Saints to the 2012 Auckland Australian Football League Grand Final and has also coached Auckland at National Provincial level. A playing back ground that stems back to NPC representation with the Waikato Thunder, McLean is sure to assist the Suns with tightening up their defence for the 2017 season.
Central Giants trade and select Blake Nahu
Central Giants have carried out a trade with the Northern Suns for the services of Rotorua talent Blake Nahu. Formerly a Western Heights High School student and now attending Waikato University, Nahu who represented the New Zealand Hawks Under 18 team in 2016 and the Northern Suns have mutually agreed to part company ahead of the 2017 season. Nahu originally retained by the Northern Suns will ensure continued development with his newly assigned coach, NZ Hawks Senior Coach, Rob Malone.
In exchange for the trade, Northern Suns will now receive the Giants next Secondary Draft Pick
Northern Suns select Harry Forbes
The Suns have secured Westlake Boys 17 year old Harry Forbes in the Secondary Draft. The rugby convert and member of a successful first XV Westlake Boys team, will play his first season of AFL at Senior level after progressing well through the Regional Youth League in 2016. With steady performances, the opportunity exists for Forbes to progress to the New Zealand Hawks Under 18 touring team heading to Australia in May. Coach Dave Abetz is excited with the prospect of hosting young talent within the Northern Suns.
With the finalisation of the AFL New Zealand Academy on Thursday December 1st, AFLNZ High Performance Manager Mick Coultard will announce a list of 16 Development Players who will also enter the 2017 Premiership. These players are distributed to the teams week to week with the players development managed by AFL New Zealand and their respective coaches. The initiative ensures that the AFL New Zealand Premiership continues to provide one of its key objectives in providing a forum for elite young athletes to develop as well as show casing their talents to potential suitors.
The list of Development players will be amended as required.
Further players who are not involved in the initial playing list and draft selection will be added through the following processes;
- Ongoing talent identification carried out through local, regional and national competitions
- Those players currently playing in regional leagues and yet to be listed
- Academy players for development purposes
- Overseas players dependent on availability