Coaching and Management


2020 AFL New Zealand Premiership Coaching Staff:

Western Crows thumbnail
Head CoachMatt CawleyCanterbury
CaptainJay JohnsonCanterbury
Central Giants thumbnail
Head CoachIzaak WilliamsCanterbury
CaptainSamuel MackenzieAuckland
Southern Saints thumbnail
CanterburyHead CoachSean MayesAuckland
AssistantPeter BoyceAuckland
CaptainMichael BoyceAuckland
ManagerHoward GilbertAuckland
Northern Suns thumbnail
Head CoachAdem ManderovicCanterbury
AssistantJames BowdenCanterbury
CaptainBen HickAuckland
ManagerDonna GillWellington

Coaching Accreditation

It is an expectation that all coaches within the AFL New Zealand Premiership either have the AFL Level 1 Coaching accreditation or are currently undergoing the accreditation process. The accreditation process is shown below.

For the online component please follow this link;

AFL Level 1 Coaching On Line


Game Day Coaching and Management Responsibilities

All team coaching and management staff should be aware of the responsibilities of the remainder of your coaching and managing staff. Each AFL New Zealand Premiership side has an adminstrative team that includes;

1 Head Coach, 1 Assistant Coach, 1 Team Manager and 2 Hydration staff.

All positions are appointed by AFL New Zealand. We encourage nominations for these positions from your own networks the first step will be nominating them to AFLNZ for appointment and allocation to a team.

If one of these roles is not filled on game or match day, you will be required to take on extra responsibilities designated amongst your management team

Game Day Head Coach responsibilities

Head coaches will communicate directly with coaching staff and allocate line coaching positions accordingly. This can change as required to enhance coaching development opportunities.

Captains can also be utilised in their playing capacity as a line coach where possible.

Head Coach should look to allocate one of their coaching staff as a team runner for the day.

Head coach will supply immediately following the game (in consultation with coaching staff) the following details on the Game Day Team Sheet (For eg click here) provided in hard copy on game day;

  • Best player (Will also appear in one of the groups below)
  • 2 Best forwards
  • 2 Best backs
  • 2 Best mid field

Please note: The above will be utilised for the overall AFL New Zealand Best and Fairest as well as Team of the Week promotion, so ensure you provide the 2 best for each positional line.

If you have prior coaching commitments with the AFL New Zealand Academy, please ensure you communicate timings to your head coach in regards to availability. Please also advise Georgina Gatenby at and 027 386 4355 of any issues with availability.

Game Day Assistant Coach Responsibilities

The Assistant Coach appointed to the forward line coaching role will also be required to record goal scorers for your respective teams on the Game Day Team Sheet

AFL New Zealand will aim to appoint an Auckland-based Team Manager for each team with administrative procedures to take place, before and following games. The Managers will utilise players to carry out some administration tasks. If your Team Manager is not available, this will be delegated to the Assistant Coaches. For information on required tasks please contactGeorgina Gatenby at and 027 386 4355.

If you have prior coaching commitments with the AFL New Zealand Academy, please ensure you communicate timings to your head coach in regards to availability. Please also advise Georgina Gatenby at and 027 386 4355 of any issues with availability.

A Game Day Task List and Game Day Run Sheet will be available for each weekend with slight differences between Game 1/ 12.30pm and Game 2/ 2.45pm. Those responsible and allocations of tasks will be the only variance. This will include uniform distribution and collection and team sheet completion.

Find here a link to Game 1 Responsibilities and Game 2 Responsibilities

Game Day Manager Responsibilities

Managers will operate with use of the following documents;

Game Day Task List

Game Day Run Sheet

See below a list of some identified responsibilities the Team Manager will complete across training and game days (this is not an exhaustive list). Please note that the Manager is responsible for the completion of these tasks – this does not mean the Manager has to compete the tasks themselves! Use the power of delegation and you playing squad to your advantage.

  • Timekeeping, team and coach time management
  • Contact players if required. Player contact details in team folder
  • Distribution of food and meals as required
  • Opening changing rooms
  • Ensuring footballs are pumped and ready for use
  • Filling water bottles and linking with water carriers
  • Recording attendance
  • Recording and distribution of jumper numbers
  • Lock changing rooms
  • Accountability of team uniforms, resources and return of loan polo’s.
  • Allocating tasks for players on game day/training

As mentioned earlier If a team does not have a Manager in attendance for training or game day, these tasks will become an added responsibility for coaches and players. Please contact Georgina Gatenby at and 027 386 4355 if you require information on these tasks.

Game Day Hydration Responsibilities

Water boys/ girls will be allocated from the AFL New Zealand Academy participants and non-playing team members. Please welcome the Academy participants as they will include Development Players who will be future players in the AFL New Zealand Premiership competition

They can also be provided by outside links arranged by coaching staff if preferred. Once again please advise Georgina Gatenby at and 027 386 4355 if you wish to nominate your own hydration specialists. Please note a water carrier does not need to go through interchange gate and can remain on the field without interfering with the play.

Training Day Responsibilities and information

Training venues and times for each region can be found here;

AFL New Zealand Premiership Schedule

All Coaches and Managers must complete this google form with their availability throughout training and match day schedules during the AFL New Zealand Premiership;

Coaches and Managers Registration Form

The training documents below are provided to coaches and management each week. These are a guideline to ensure that training sessions throughout New Zealand are identical and athletes can maximise their development throughout the AFL New Zealand Premiership season.

Training plan

  • Focus for the session with drills and games which coaches can choose from which meet the training objective
  • These will provide a range of drills and ensure some are modifiable so no matter how many players are at training they can be used

Training run-sheet

  • Timings for training (i.e. opening up time etc)

Player attendance document

  • Needs to be marked off by a coach or manager and sent to Robert Vanstam to follow up with players who did not attend
  • Attendance to be recorded and forwarded in excel format by 10am the morning after training to

Key messages document

  • Messages that need to be distributed to the players

Coaching Tree                                 

  • Covers the skill sets required to compete effectively. (Opposition has the ball/ We have the ball/ The ball is in dispute).

Warm up Procedure

  • AFL New Zealand in conjunction with the Strength and Conditioning Coaches have a warm up procedure to implement, which will be run by the S&C coaches, senior players or designated coach

Code of Conduct/Medical forms

  • Players to complete at training, signed and return. Once completed, mark on the attendance document.
  • Forms already collected will be indicated on your attendance document.

All elements will be reviewed via feedback from coaches to ensure improvement to training systems and to make coaching and management roles as easy as possible.

Training equipment

This is a basic list of resources required. Please contact if you do not have any of the required resources in your region

  • Leather footballs (1 leather to every 3 players)
  • Synthetic footballs (1 ball to every two players)
  • Water Bottles
  • Changing room keys (if available in your region)
  • Cones
  • Pump (electronic and hand if possible)
  • Whistle
  • Attendance sheet/laptop with attendance sheet
  • Players code of conduct form
  • Medical forms

Player Improvement “Work Ons”

  • Players will be invited to attend training 30mins early then the scheduled start time to working on specific areas of improvement. This could include elements such fitness, speed, kicking, handball, contested marking etc.
  • Coaching staff will also be scheduled to attend early to assist on these specific work ons.

Further Game Day information


There will be physios on-site to assist with strapping as well as helping to manage injuries. They will be at QBE Stadium from 9.30am (though they will be involved with the Youth Competition as well)/. If players have injuries/niggles needing strapping/treatment please arrive early to ensure you can be seen.


All games are played at QBE Stadium (formerly North Harbour Stadium). The AFL field is stationed to behind the main stadium. Car parking in the main car park just above the ground. Click Here.

Arrival Time

All coaches and players are expected to be at the ground 1hour 30mins before their game starts.

Game 1 starts at 12.30pm (11.00am arrival time)

Game 2 starts at 2.45pm (1.15pm arrival time)

Changing Rooms

The changing rooms will be open 1hour 30mins before games are scheduled to start

If you are playing in Game 1 you will be utilising the Domain changing rooms, located by the Artificial Turf. The changing room doors will be labeled with each team’s emblem.

If you are playing in Game 2 you will be utilising the Marist Rugby Club changing rooms. The changing room doors will be labeled with each team’s emblem.


The uniform for all travel and before/after games is Team Polo paired with AFL New Zealand Premiership Shorts.

If wearing shorts players must wear running shoes – no jandals/sandals.

If you have not received your team polo you can travel to the ground in:

  • New Zealand Youth polo
  • New Zealand National polo
  • Regional League/Club team polo

If you have none of the above, please travel/arrive in number 1’s and a shirt.

On-field uniform

Playing kit will be provided to the players at the ground. These will be collected and given to an Auckland based player to wash for the next week.

Players Playing Numbers

Players will be presented with a number for the year. This is to be their number and will not be given out to other players. Please ensure players are wearing the correct number.

Game Length

Games will be four 22 minute quarters with no time on. Quarter time breaks will be 5/10/7 minutes respectively.

After-Match Commitments

All coaches are expected to stay for their games after-match awards. After-match awards will be held in the Marist Rugby Clubrooms post game (after players have showered). Players are expected to wear clothing as outlined in dress section above.