The annual AFL New Zealand High Performance Awards took place at the Mac’s Function Centre on Wellington’s Waterfront.
With over 250 guests in attendance, the night was a celebration for all things AFL in New Zealand.
Congratulations to the following award winners for 2017.
Clayton represented the Level 2 Academy side in 2016 and was awarded best on ground in game 1. He is a fast, agile small forward who runs all day. A development player in the 2017 AFLNZ Premiership, Clayton won the Rising Star award in Round 3 after kicking four goals for the Southern Saints.
U17 Player of the Year – Josh Morgan-Ranui
Best on Ground against the AFL South East in 2016, Josh is making a name for himself in the AFLNZ community. Full of talent, Josh represented both the Level 2 Academy side and the U18’s before being drafted number 1 for the Southern Saints in the 2017 AFLNZ Premiership. Currently attending Wellington College, Josh will be a big name in AFLNZ circles in years to come and is a member of the NZ Under 18 side travelling to Melbourne in May.
U18 Player of the Year – Carlos Donnell-Brown
If not for injuries early in the 2016 season, Carlos could have developed even further. He was a solid performer for the Southern Saints in the AFL New Zealand Premiership and local club side Waitakere Magpies winning the best on ground award in the 2016 Auckland AFL Grand Final. Carlos continues to rapidly develop his AFL skills and is now recognised as one of NZ’s brightest stars of the future.
Peter has been involved with AFL for several years with his son Harley playing representative AFL in the early stages of the Youth High performance pathway. Peter has played with local team the North City Demons and assisted with coaching and Managing at a local level through to managing youth programmes to now his second year in coaching role with the AFLNZ Academy Level 1.
Coach of the Year – Rob Malone
Former St Kilda listed player Rob Malone is the current head coach of the Senior men’s team. He has been involved with coaching in New Zealand for over 12 years and is an asset to the AFLNZ community. Rob was the winning Coach of the Inaugural AFLNZ Premiership with the Western Crows in 2016 and was at the helm of the NZ senior Men’s team in April last year.
Women’s Player of the Year – Jolyn Collins
Jolyn is based at Massey High School in Auckland and commenced playing the sport in 2015. Her efforts around the contest are some of the best in NZ and attacks the ball with great pace. Jolyn is a pioneer for Women’s AFL in NZ being the first New Zealander to play in the Australian Youth Girls Championships where she represented Tasmania in 2016.
Southern Saints defender Brandon Sucu was named the 2016 AFL New Zealand Premiership Best and Fairest after an outstanding season. He also played a key role for the NZ senior team against the AFL Academy last year.