The appointment of Michael Boyce to captain the Southern Saints in the 2016 AFL New Zealand Premiership, now completes the naming of the four captains who will lead AFL within New Zealand to a bright future.
With Boyce to captain Southern Saints, previous alignments include James Kusel as captain of the Northern Suns, Jared Court with the Western Crows and David Rattenbury linking with Central Giants.
The current captain of the Mt Roskill Saints, Boyce has a quality AFL career within New Zealand to match those of his counterparts. Representing New Zealand at the 2014 International Cup as well as campaigns against South Pacific and AFL Academy, Boyces association with New Zealand teams can be traced back to junior age groups more than a decade ago.
A Grand Final victory with the Mt Roskill Saints in 2013 alongside an AAFL Best and Fairest medal, add to his list of achievements in the game.
Southern Saints Coach Andrew Congalton knows the value of Boyce and his new leadership position.
“Michael is a determined character and his competitive nature will drive other players to succeed. His current positioning in the Auckland League will also provide some insights into available talent and so we will get to work in this area.”
Boyce was excited with the challenge ahead.
“It’s great to be able retain my association with the Saints at both Club and now Premiership levels. Looking at the quality of coaching staff and captains aligned with the new competition, I can’t wait to see who will appear in the AFL New Zealand National Draft. Its great we can finally extend our season beyond the regional league 12 weeks seasons. I’m looking forward to giving back to the game and supporting the young talent coming through. AFL has been great to me and I want to show other what doors it can open. I’ve travelled to Melbourne and Canberra with footy and representing your country is another opportunity that will arise from this competition. ”
It is expected that expressions of interest to be listed in the AFL New Zealand National Draft will be forwarded to a selection of key players over the coming weeks. The first announcements of player signings will be made by the end of next week.