Draft secures Auckland Club leaders
10 Oct, 2015
Auckland clubs North Shore Tigers , Waitakere Magpies and University Blues leaders have been secured to participate in the 2016 AFL New Zealand Premiership.
Adam Rice’s New Zealand representative honours include representation in the 2010 Tongan series and 2011 International Cup. His current leadership role with the Tigers includes coaching as well as an on field leadership capacity. His sureness under pressure and a strong handball game will boost his value as a link player with the growing amount of fleet footed on ballers within the AFL New Zealand National Draft.
Waitakere Magpies leader Shane Leat was first unearthed as an unknown 16 year old school boy from Kelston Boys High in 2009 and represented Magpies in their AAFL Grand Final victory in 2010. Since then the 21 year old has gone on to represent New Zealand at Under 18 and Senior levels. With five years of senior football under his belt, Leat is well known for his silky skills that can find a target with either hand or foot.
Liam Beattie has taken on a leadership role with the University Blues that goes beyond his playing abilities. With his participation in the 2016 AFL New Zealand Premiership, Beattie hopes to be part of a structure that will develop younger players and ultimately give New Zealand the best chance of success in the 2017 International Cup. His strength over the ball and in tight contests provides his team with first use of the football and it was these attributes that lead to his initial selection for New Zealand in the 2014 International Cup.
All three leaders player similar roles for their respective teams in the Auckland competition and so there will be interest driven from the AFL New Zealand National Draft as to whether they will continue to compete against each other or renew their representative combinations.
It is no coincidence that all three have also played major roles in junior development in recent times and they will add value to the Premiership both on and off field.