The 2018 AFL New Zealand Premiership is set for kick off in less than twenty days and AFL New Zealand has released the fixture for the upcoming national AFL competition. The nine round season begins on Sunday February 11th at QBE Stadium in Albany, Auckland.
The Northern Suns and Western Crows will kick off the season on February 12th at 11.30am as former New Zealand Captain and new Crows Head Coach Andrew Crighton will be pushing for a victory early on in the competition.
Defending premiers, the Southern Saints will open their campaign against the new look Central Giants which will see new Giants Captain Sam McKenzie come up against his old side for the first time.
“I’m really excited to have the opportunity to lead one of the AFL New Zealand Premiership sides, especially as the competition continues to grow and more of the young players from our Youth and Academy systems flow through into the sides. It’s going to be a weird feeling playing against former teammates, (especially opposite captain Michael Boyce who I have played only ever played with on the same team – Mt Roskill, Southern Saints, Auckland and New Zealand), but our Giants side will be fast and strong and we are looking forward to testing ourselves against the best.” Giants Captain Sam McKenzie.
One of the key fixtures during the season will be in Round 2, where the Southern Saints take on their 2017 rivals, the Northern Suns. In their three previous meetings in 2017, the margin has been less than three goals in each of the games and expect their Round 2 encounter to be no different.
The Central Giants and Northern Suns will play the last game of the season in Round 9 on April 15th.
The Premiership is seen as the perfect opportunity for a higher level competition providing an extension to the traditional regional league seasons spanning between August to December each year.