Development player programme sets foundation for youth to excel in footy

The 2023 AFL New Zealand Premiership will provide a number of talented players from the AFL New Zealand Academy the opportunity to participate in the Premiership as development players.

The opportunity will be utilised to further develop and manage the environment for young players and their introduction into senior football. The preparation they receive will potentially see them drafted and playing in the 2024 AFLNZ Premiership as a full time participant.

Recent players that benefitted from the programme include, Kieran Charlton (2020 U17 Player of the year) from Canterbury, Tyrone Stubbs and Xavier Bryham from Auckland and Will Anderson and Bailee Laurenson from Wellington.

Those announced are all born in the year 2006 and are not guaranteed to play in the premiership or play every week. The 2023 AFLNZ Women’s Premiership will be the first year the programme is trialled for girls born in 2007. High Performance management will distribute development players to team’s week to week dependant on several factors including;

  • The players stage of development
  • The players physical preparedness and capability
  • Approval from AFLNZ, the participants parents and the participant

Development Players will train with the Premiership group in their region along with their Academy commitments. Development opportunities on game day will be managed by AFL New Zealand and respective coaches this will include specific timing, rotation, opposition match ups and player review throughout the day.