Shake up for Retained Player Lists

With the recent relocation of the Southern Saints to the Canterbury region, the Retained Player List system will undergo significant pressure due to the massive shift in team lists forced upon the four AFL New Zealand Premiership teams.

The introduction of three Premiership matches scheduled to take place in Christchurch in March 2022, will see the Southern Saints shift its training hub to QE2 Oval in Christchurch. The move has also forced a shift away from multiple training hubs and a reliance on a playing list that has historically included regional players throughout New Zealand within each of the four Premiership teams.

Four major training hubs will be finalised over the coming month to assist with team list player movement. Geographically, major training hubs will exist in Wellington, Christchurch, Auckland North and Auckland South. Minor hubs will also be negotiated to assist players outside of the major regions.

The 2021 AFLNZ Premiership included representatives from Otago, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Northland and Hawkes Bay and AFL New Zealand will continue a focus on promoting opportunities of the inclusion of players from these regions.

What this means for the Southern Saints?

Access to training Christchurch Training Hub; -The Southern Saints primary focus will be on recruitment from within the Canterbury Region. Initially 10 of the first 13 selected will be from the Canterbury Region.

Regional players; – A commitment to the inclusion of Otago representatives will make up the remaining 3 list players of the first 13 selected.

What this means for the Central Giants?

Access to training Wellington Training Hub; -The Central Giants will have a dual focus that spreads over two training hubs in Wellington and South Auckland.  Recruitment from within the Wellington Region. Initially 5 of the first 13 selected will be from the Wellington Region and 5 from the Auckland South Region.

Note* Giants Auckland based players will be those based in South Auckland and retained from 2021.

Regional players; – A commitment to the inclusion of Regional representatives outside of Auckland will make up the remaining 3 list players of the first 13 selected. (First option on Retained Players from 2021 Playing List.)

What this means for the Northern Suns?

Access to training North Auckland Training Hub; -The Northern Suns primary focus will be on recruitment from within the North Auckland Region. ( North of Harbour and Greenhithe Bridges) Initially 10 of the first 13 selected will be from the North Auckland Region.

Regional players; – A commitment to the inclusion of Regional representatives will make up the remaining 3 list players of the first 13 selected. (First option on Retained Players from 2021 Playing List.)

What this means for the Western Crows?

Access to training South Auckland Training Hub; -The Western Crows primary focus will be on recruitment from within the South Auckland Region. ( South of Harbour and Greenhithe Bridges) Initially 10 of the first 13 selected will be from the South Auckland Region.

Note* Crows Auckland based players will be those based in South Auckland and retained from 2021. (First option on Retained Players from 2021 Playing List.)

Regional players; – A commitment to the inclusion of Regional representatives will make up the remaining 3 list players of the first 13 selected.

The National Draft will also face implications due to the changing face of the AFLNZ Premiership Competition.