The Western Crows have announced that they will add regional players, Jay Johnson, Christian Blackie and Waylon Baker to “their retained players list” for the 2017 AFL New Zealand Premiership.
Western Crows and New Zealand Hawks midfielder Jay Johnson was pivotal for the Crows in 2016. His endurance running, smooth ball skills and calm demeanour made him stand out in every game and proved the difference between the other sides. Jay was selected in the AFL New Zealand Premiership team of the year and backed up his form for the NZ Hawks against the AFL Academy in April. Johnson first debuted in the 2014 season initially against the AFL Academy and the for the NZ Hawks at the 2014 International Cup. He will look to use next year’s Premiership to cement his place in the 2017 squad and is sure to be utilised in a tagging role to compliment his dogged nature.
Otago based 19 year old Christian Blackie, proved a handy selection for the Western Crows in the inaugural AFL New Zealand Premiership competition. A strong solid midfielder, Blackie also made his debut for the Senior NZ Hawks during their AFL Academy ANZAC campaign. Christian’s courage around the contested ball area is a real asset to his game and having played against the best up and coming players in the AFL, Blackie’s experience will make him one to watch in 2017.
Known for his fierce defending and uncompromising attitude, 21 year old Waylon Baker was a sure thing to being retained by the Western Crows for 2017. Currently playing for the North City Demons in the Wellington regional league, new head coach Chris Mundell will look to Waylon to play a bigger role to ensure the Crows secure their second AFL New Zealand Premiership. Baker, cousin of St Kilda FC International Scholarship Jo Baker-Thomas, will be working hard to overcome an injury plagued off season and at his best, is an amazing defensive player that no forward looks forward to encountering.
Western Crows squad to date:
|Coach:||Chris Mundell||University Blues||Auckland|
|Assistant Coach:||Marcus Jones||Auckland|
|Playing Assistant:||Matt Kemp||Mt Roskill Saints||Auckland|
|Captain:||Jared Court||Eastern Blues||Canterbury|
|Squad:||Alastiar Maisey||Mt Roskill Saints||Auckland|
|Jay Johnson||Eastern Blues||Canterbury|
|Christian Blackie||Otago Riot||Otago|
|Waylon Baker||North City Demons||Wellington|