The AFL New Zealand Rising star award for round 8 of the 2016 Premiership has been awarded to Dawson Nanai of the Northern Suns.
Dawson currently attends Southern Cross Campus School in Mangere in South Auckland and has been involved with AFL for two years as a leader for his school side in local, regional and national competitions. As a development player, Dawson has played for all four Premiership sides in the competition and consistently works hard, learns fast and brings intensity to his game.
“Dawson Nanai has grown to be a valuable asset who has represented all four premiership sides throughout the season as a development player. At no stage has Dawson looked out of place and each week added to his game. Generally, a quiet person off the field, he has shown leadership at secondary school level and brings intensity and consistency to his premiership games. These attributes have earned him the rising star award for round 8.” Mick Coultard, National High Performance Manager.
AFL New Zealand caught up with Dawson during the week.
What School do you attend?
I attend southern Cross Campus in Mangere, Auckland.
What kind of sports did you play growing up?
Growing up I played Rugby League & Basketball.
How did you get into AFL?
I got into AFL through school. AFL New Zealand came in and taught our class the skills and how to play the game. After that I was hooked.
What do you enjoy about playing AFL?
What I like about AFL is that it is much different from all other sports and the intensity is much higher compared to other sports.
What are your goals for AFL in the future?
My goal for the future is to make the NZ Hawks U18 side and eventually the NZ Hawks Senior Hawks.
What do you think your biggest advantage is out on the field?
My biggest advantage on the field is probably my footwork & the intensity I bring to the game.