AFL New Zealand has announced the coaches to lead the Under 18 New Zealand Falcons your to Australia from April 25th to April 29th 2023.
This will be the fifth trip to Melbourne for the U18’s and follows on from a long and successful partnership with Mornington Peninsula Junior Football League.
The tour will provide the team with an insight into Australian club football, a visit to an AFL Club and attendance an AFL game. Coach and squad selection will commence immediately with an initial squad due to be named in November 2023.
From this initial squad a final team will be selected, consisting of a maximum of 24 players to play two games against AFL Outer East on Wednesday April 26th and against the Mornington Peninsula Junior Football League on Friday April 28th.
Justin Gauci will take on the position as head coach of the Under 18 National side. He was a foundation player for the Western Crows and aligned with the successful Auckland AFL Club North Shore Tigers. transitioned into the Premiership coaching ranks at the Central Giants as head coach in 2021 and after making some strong selections in the pre-season draft, he led them to their second Premiership, losing only 1 game along the way. In 2023 he lines up in charge of the Northern Suns in the AFL New Zealand Premiership as they set their sights on a first ever Premiership victory with the Club.
Canterbury based Adam Clarke will be Gauci’s assistant and has had a strong involvement with the AFL New Zealand Academy over the past five years. He has had supporting roles within the Premiership competition as both a player and a coach and his inclusion with the Under 18 team will be of great benefit to his young charges
Nominations for players born in the years 2004 and 2005 can be submitted at the following link.