Quality Christchurch Bulldogs midfielder Wayne Sullivan has been secured for the 2017 AFL New Zealand Premiership National Draft.
Formally based at Sydney Club, the Balmain Docker, Sullivan moved to Christchurch in 2011 and has been an impact player within the Canterbury Australian Football League over the past five seasons. The move to New Zealand followed a career with the Australian Defence Forces where he also participated in representative football.
Immediately he made an impact on the local scene taking out the CAFL Best and Fairest 2011 along with local club Christchurch Bulldogs Best and Fairest in 2011. Putting his hand up for regional representation, he was a member of the Canterbury Cobras National Provincial Championship winning teams in 2011 & 2012, last playing for the Canterbury Cobras in 2013.
Sullivan achieved a dream in coming to New Zealand and securing his first ever grand final victory with the Christchurch Bulldogs in 2013, an item that had been in the bucket list since childhood after almost 20 years in the sport.
“I’m looking forward to playing some good footy amongst the best New Zealand has to offer and also assist in the development of some potentially very good youngsters. It would be nice to help the team I am eventually drafted to, to a Premiership but the focus for me will be development and guidance.”
With the Central Giants and Northern Suns allocated first and second draft picks respectively, the quality of new players entering into the AFL New Zealand National Draft is starting to pose some interesting questions for head coaches Giants Rob Malone and Suns new charge Dave Abetz.
Suns midfielder Tim Stokes was the first player to appear on Abetz “Retained Players List” . The potential addition of Wayne Sullivan to a list that is likely to contain experienced University Blues and NZ Hawks rep, Liam Beattie, could provide the Suns with no shortage of midfield power. The question remains as to who will carry a majority of the ruck duties for the Suns. Options include Waikato and North Shore Tigers young gun Jackson Rolleston if retained or experienced tall Mitch Ryan who has made a home for himself in the backline in recent seasons.
Regardless of midfield make ups, there is no doubt that Sullivan will make an excellent addition to the AFL New Zealand Premiership ranks.