The 2018 NAB AFL Academy Level 1 Squad will depart for Wellington today as part of a High Performance Camp that will include a clash against an open-age New Zealand side on Tuesday, April 24 at Westpac Stadium.
The challenge match will be the seventh year an Australian Under 17s side has played against a New Zealand team, with players part of this year’s Level 1 Squad following in the footsteps of Melbourne’s Jesse Hogan, West Coast Eagles’ Dom Sheed, GWS’ Josh Kelly, St Kilda’s Luke Dunstan and Jack Billings, North Melbourne’s Luke McDonald and Gold Coast Suns’ Jack Martin who were part of the NAB AFL Academy in 2012.
AFL National and International Talent Manager Kevin Sheehan said the opportunity to represent Australia and develop as individuals and footballers presented an incredible opportunity for NAB AFL Academy members.
“Australia’s best under 17 players really value the opportunity to play for their country against another country in a foreign environment,” Sheehan said.
“To be playing on the day before ANZAC Day, a day that means so much to both countries, is a significant honour for these young men.
“This annual match also provides a pathway for New Zealand’s best players to also wear their country’s colours and test themselves against some of the best young players in Australia.”
The match will be played at Westpac Stadium in Wellington at 11.30am and will be followed by both teams attending the Anzac Day Dawn service the following day to pay tribute to our service men and women.
The Australian Under 17 team was selected following the NAB AFL Under 16s Championships in 2017 and will be coached by NAB AFL Academy Head Coach Luke Power.
The NAB AFL Academy is part of the NAB AFL Rising Stars Program, which supports grassroots players and football communities and helps young Australians fulfil their dream of playing in the AFL.
New Zealand vs AFL Academy
Where: Wesptac Stadium, Wellington
When: Tuesday April 24th, 2017
Time: First bounce, 11.30am
2018 NAB AFL Academy – Level 1 Squad
Number Name State 1 Kysaiah Pickett SA 2 Rhai Arn Cox WA 3 Connor Budarick QLD 4 Caleb Serong VIC C 5 Jack Mohony VIC M 6 Matthew Rowell VIC M 7 Hewago Paul-Oea QLD 8 Deven Robertson WA 9 Cameron Taheny SA 10 Dylan Stephens SA 11 Sam Flanders VIC C 12 Hayden Young VIC C 13 Dylan Williams VIC M 14 Cooper Stephens VIC C 15 Noah Anderson VIC M 16 Joshua Rayner NSW 17 Jamieson Rossiter VIC M 18 Brodie Kemp VIC C 19 Liam Delahunty NSW 21 Fischer McAsey VIC M 22 Emerson Jeka VIC M 23 Mitch O’Neill TAS 26 Anthony Davis WA 29 Jack Buller WA 31 Andrew Courtney VIC M