The sixth edition of the AFL New Zealand Premiership will commence the new season on February 14th 2021.
Four teams will compete in the Premiership Season based at North Harbour Stadium on Auckland’s North Shore with an 8 round schedule culminating in April 2021.
The AFL New Zealand Premiership will include talented athletes throughout New Zealand with players flying in to Auckland weekly throughout the competition.
In 2016, the Western Crows, led by New Zealand Assistant Coach Rob Malone were lucky enough to take out the inaugural competition.
The Southern Saints captained by Michael Boyce, dropped only one game throughout the season and were crowned champions in 2017.
The Central Giants dominated the Premiership in 2018 and claimed their first title after a consistent season.
In 2019, the Western Crows became the first side in the competitions history to win the title twice when they defeated the Southern Saints in the first ever Premiership Grand Final.
The 2020 Premiers will be crowned in just over 3 weeks time on October 25th as the season was suspended due to Covid 19. The Grand Final will be a rematch from last year with the Western Crows and Southern Saints going head to head again.
Following on from the first five AFL New Zealand Premiership seasons, a retained players list has been added and altered as an additional tool to create balance and competitiveness within the competition. Further information on the new categories and the Retained Player List will be released in the coming weeks.
The AFL New Zealand National Draft will also contain changes to the list categories on which potential participants will appear. Once the Retained Players List has been finalised by the Premiership teams, the remaining players who have not been selected will be re-entered along with those new to the competition, into the AFL New Zealand National Draft and will be available for selection by any of the four teams.
The addition of Development players from the 2020 season, now eligible for full selection will provide some exciting insights into the available talent on display. Full details of the National Draft Categories will be announced in the following weeks.
The AFL New Zealand 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.
With the International Cup postponed and rescheduled to August 2021, the Premiership will give players the opportunity to showcase themselves in front of NZ Falcon selectors.