AFLNZ Under 16 National Championships Preview

The best Under 16 AFL athletes are set to converge on Wellington, for the AFL New Zealand Under 16 National Championships.

The tournament, which will be held on the 22nd and 23rd of March at Hutt Park, will showcase the cream of the AFL New Zealand High Performance programme.

All participants will have been born in the 1997-99 age bracket, making them ideal candidates for further development through AFL.

A selection of current Under 16 New Zealand representatives will be involved with the tournament. Many of the players in attendance participated in the AFL New Zealand Combine programme, culminating in the National Combine, which was held at the ASB Indoor Stadium on January 23 earlier this year.

Players will not only be representing themselves at the Under 16 National Championships, but also their schools. Through schools participating in AFL New Zealand Secondary School programmes, these opportunities have been made available.

For the players, the Under 16 National Championships will test their skills against their peers in an intensive competition. The tournament will include Aorere College’s pair of AFL International Scholarship holders, Siope Ngata and Giovanni Mountain Silbery.

From the tournament, the Under 16 New Zealand Hawks team will be selected to play at the South Pacific Cup in Coffs Harbour in April. This will be followed by a two match series in October against the AFL Flying Boomerangs, who are the best Australian Indigenous AFL players in the Under 16 age-group.

The very best Under 16 New Zealand players will then have the opportunity to be selected into the South Pacific team, who take part in the Australian National Championships in April.

Wellington is a major centre of AFL New Zealand High Performance events, with tour matches, tournaments and the AFL New Zealand National Combine taking place in the capital.

The city will also get the chance to see top level AFL in April, when the St Kilda Saints return for their annual ANZAC Day match in Wellington. This year their opposition will be the Brisbane Lions.


Fixtures for AFL New Zealand Under 16 National Championships

Saturday 22nd March:

12.45: Giants vs Eagles

2.15: Eagles vs Suns

3.45: Suns vs Giants

Sunday 23rd March

10.00: Giants vs Eagles

11.15: Eagles vs Suns

2.00: Suns vs Giants