The Southern Saints have selected Sam McKenzie as their number 1 AFL New Zealand draft selection to play in the 2016 AFL New Zealand Premiership.
Sam McKenzie currently has a stake in two regional competitions with ties to both Mt Roskill Saints in Auckland and North City Demons in Wellington. He is a marking forward/midfielder whose contesting marking skill provides him with the ability to play against much bigger defensive opponents and still provide potency with his goal kicking ability.
“Sam was a standout option for our first pick. He was judged Best on Ground in the most recent Senior men’s International game against the AFL Academy in April this year where he stepped up his game to provide leadership and much needed determination in the forward line in the absence of several key position Senior Hawks. His second efforts and team first attributes make him a great deputy for captain Michael Boyce.” Southern Saints head coach Andrew Congalton.
The AFL New Zealand National Draft took place recently on Wednesday 7.00pm December 2nd . Coaches from five regions were linked together to commence work on their respective player rosters for the 2016 AFL New Zealand Premiership commencing February 14th at North Harbour Stadium.
With 109 players now signed from regions spanning Northland to Otago, a further 30 players will be added to the list over the next month to finalise those participating in the inaugural competition.
The remainder of selections will take place in the time frame through to January after the completion of provincial matches, fitness assessments and also training sessions where the four coaches have the opportunity to view and recruit players new to the High Performance system.
The weekend of December 5th and 6th will see inter regional competition take place in Christchurch with matches utilised by AFL New Zealand Premiership recruiters to finalise numbers.
Western Crows Captain Jared Court will take on the role of playing coach for the Canterbury province and he will be joined by Southern Saints coaching staff Andrew Congalton, & Warwick Kain as well as Central Giants Assistant Michael Bruhn who will assist Otago. The coaching staff will look to recruit new talent to further their playing development in the AFL New Zealand Premiership.