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 5 of the 2018 AFL New Zealand Premiership has been awarded to Finn Moffat from the AFL New Zealand Academy.
Finn exceeded his playing expectations in his role as a development player during round 5 of the 2018 AFL New Zealand Premiership.
Playing for the Crows in defence, Finn showed maturity and patience playing at the top level. His defensive pressure on his opponents showed that he could develop into a tough defender in the future.
The 16 year old represented New Zealand in April last year with the Level 2 Academy side and will be looking to develop his game for higher honours in the year’s to come.
“Finn has come from playing secondary school football in Christchurch and has developed well as a young footballer. His physical presence and willingness to take on and apply feedback are all great attributes that will set him up for future representative opportunities.” National Youth Manager, Mick Coultard.
AFL New Zealand Media spoke to Finn during the week.
What School/University do you attend?
I attend St Bede’s College in Christchurch, where AFL is growing in the school and a lot of old boys play in the Canterbury AFL (CAFL).
What kind of sports did you play growing up?
I play Rugby and Touch, I used to play Cricket and Athletics but have given them up to focus on AFL.
How did you get into AFL?
In 2016 I played in the Junior South Island Championships (AFL Cup) where St Bede’s won pretty convincingly, this got me involved with the AFL New Zealand Academy. In 2017, I joined the mighty Ashburton Eagles in the CAFL where I am playing now.
What do you enjoy about playing AFL?
I love the fact that your skills have to be perfect for the game to be played cleanly so it means I’ve always got something to improve on like precise kicks or longer hand passes. Playing with the Eagles in Christchurch is pretty cool too because of the team culture, everyone just turns up because they love playing footy so it’s always enjoyable.
What are your goals for AFL in the future?
I hope to make the AFLNZ Academy Level 2 team again this year and from there I just want to enjoy playing in the CAFL and see where it takes me.
What do you think your biggest advantage is out on the field?
I’m a bit bigger than most people my age so I try to use that to my advantage when taking marks and it also means I’ve got some more power so I can kick the ball reasonably far.