Academy standout wins Round 3 Rising Star

The AFL New Zealand Rising Star award will be awarded weekly to a standout young player in the 2018 AFL New Zealand Premiership.


Each week the award will be allocated to those who show ability that favours the core components it takes to become an AFL Player. To be eligible to be nominated for the award, a player must be born in 2000 or younger.

The AFL New Zealand Rising Star award for round 3 of the 2018 AFL New Zealand Premiership has been awarded to Ethan Halton from the AFL New Zealand Academy.

Ethan was introduced to the sport of AFL after he watched it on TV back in 2016 and has been involved since.

The 16 year old played as a development player for the Southern Saints and put in an inspiring effort in his first game at the top level. His efforts earned him a spot on the Interchange in the Round 3 Team of the week.

“Ethan has come from playing for Rosehill College in the Secondary School AFL cup 2016. Where he displayed some great attributes amongst his peers using his body well, contesting the ball in the air and kicking goals. Ethan passed the opportunity to play in the Academy last year to focus on Rugby but has taken to AFL this year and certainly show casing why he was selected for the AFLNZ Academy. It will be exciting to watch his continual development through the remainder of the season.” National Youth Manager, Mick Coultard.


AFL New Zealand Media caught up with Ethan after the announcement.

What School/University do you attend?

I currently attend Rosehill College in Papakura, Auckland.

What kind of sports did you play growing up?

I’m a big sports fan so growing up, I played both Rugby and Rugby League along with Touch & Soccer.

How did you get into AFL?

I got into AFL through watching it on TV before playing for my School in the AFL Cup.

What do you enjoy about playing AFL?

I enjoy playing AFL because I like playing with my mates and meeting new people from different places.

What are your goals for AFL in the future?

I really want to make AFLNZ Academy Level 2 side in April and also the U18 team as well. 

What do you think your biggest advantage is out on the field?

I think my biggest advantage on the field is my speed, as it allows me to shut down defenders and move into space.