Timaru based George Read has been selected for the 2017 AFL New Zealand National Draft.
Born in Ashburton and currently residing in Timaru in the South Island, Read has a long history of playing AFL in New Zealand. He is one of the few players to have represented the Otago Riot on every occasion since their inception and currently is in preparation for the 2016 NPC where he will once again where the famous ‘O’ in Wellington in just over two months time on December 10 and 11.
The 25-year-old makes the 2-hour journey from Timaru to Christchurch every week where he Captains the University Cougars side in the Canterbury league. The Cougars are enjoying one of their finest seasons to date where under the guidance of new coach Chris Mintern, they will look to make the Canterbury AFL Grand Final for the first time in over 5 years.
In 2014, George was awarded the highest honour in New Zealand AFL when he was named in the NZ Hawks senior side to play against the South Pacific on Westpac Stadium in Wellington.
His all-round skills and defensive nature will make him the perfect player for any of the Premiership sides and having a connection with Otago, Southern Saints head coach Warwick Kain will have a good insight into how he plays and could look to fit him into the 2017 side.
The key defenders for each of the AFL New Zealand Premiership teams will play a major role in determining the outcome for the 2017 season. Defensive skills have never been an issue within the AFL landscape of New Zealand but the opposite could be said when it comes to potential match winning goal scorers.
Last years key goal scorers Southern Saints Reyne Westbury and Western Crows Joey Alesich-Tamariki will be in high demand to play key roles for their chosen teams but even more important will be who will get the role in negating their impact. George Read could fit the bill.