The AFL New Zealand Rising star award for round 1 of the 2016 Premiership is awarded to William Warbrick of the Western Crows.
The Rotorua born teenager produced a standout performance for the Western Crows in their 41-point win over the Northern Suns on Sunday. Playing as a marking forward, William was seen to gather many possessions all throughout the game and take some well contested marks over some senior opponents.
AFLNZ High Performance manager Mick Coultard, who awards the Rising Star spoke highly of the promising young talent. “William fully deserves not only the player of the day for the Crows but also the Rising star award for round 1. During the game, he displayed the attributes that he tested so well at during the recent regional combine in Auckland and with his commitment to travel from the Bay of Plenty each week for both training and games speak a lot about him and the support he has from his family. William will be an exciting rising star to watch for the remainder of the Premiership.”
AFL New Zealand sat down with William to ask him some questions about his time with AFL.
What School did you attend?
I attended Rotorua Boys’ High School.
What kind of sports did you play growing up?
Growing up I competed in athletics at a young age and also played soccer. As I reached secondary school I started to play Rugby union changed and just last year I made the change from Rugby union to play Rugby league.
How did you get into AFL?
I was introduced to AFL by my Rugby league coach in August 2015 who told me and couple other boys in the team about an opportunity to play AFL in a 10-week youth competition up in Auckland and ever since October last year I have been playing AFL.
What do you enjoy about the game?
I enjoy many aspects of AFL, the open space on the field you can get as a player, learning all the unique skills required to be an AFL player such as the hand pass, kicking, jumping, meeting new people and just the challenge of learning and playing a new sport.
What do you think your biggest advantage is out on the field?
I think my biggest advantages out on the field is my ball carrying ability and trying to attack the game every time I get my hands on the ball and also my fitness to keep running the whole game.
What are your goals for AFL in the future?
My future goals in AFL is to hopefully be selected into the New Zealand under 18’s AFL team and then hopefully in the future the New Zealand Hawks men’s team. But my main priority at the moment is to take out the AFLNZ premiership competition as a Crow!