Next up in the 2018 Premiership form guide is the new look Central Giants.
The Central Giants have finished in third position the last two seasons in the Premiership but were big winners during the 2017 AFL New Zealand National Draft. The Giants had two priority picks due to the team not being able to retain three Auckland based New Zealand players and selected Harison Manks and Josh Cunliffe from the Southern Saints. They also picked up key forward and goal scoring machine James McKenzie along with Kevin Crowe, Elliot Bennetts and Tim Elsey from the Howick Hornets (Auckland AFL).
With a new coach in Izaak Williams and new Captain Sam McKenzie, the Giants will head into the 2018 season with a clean and simple approach and will look to shake up the competition with their attacking game play.
2017 position: 3rd
Predicted position in 2018: 1st
Player to watch: Blake Nahu
19 year old Blake Nahu from the Waikato has a big impact in his two seasons in the Premiership and was awarded the Round 8 Rising Star for his consistency during this year’s competition.
Nahu has been a part of NZ Warriors development sides in the past and brings relative Rugby League skills over to the game of AFL.
Now playing in his third season and having grown into a senior player, look for Nahu to dominate the Giants midfield.
Get excited: James McKenzie
Aucklander James McKenzie was one of the in form players for the Northern Suns during the early rounds of the 2016 AFL New Zealand Premiership until a shoulder injury ruled him out for the next 12 months.
The 22 year old is a fast and agile small forward who knows how to kick a goal or two and has represented New Zealand in the past.
James is the brother of new Central Giants Captain Samuel McKenzie and will look to combine well with Samuel in the Giants forward line.