The Central Giants have announced the remainder of their coaching staff ahead of the 2018 AFL New Zealand Premiership. Wayne Sullivan and Andrew Azzopardi will assist head coach Izaak Williams whilst James Bowden will be the Assistant Playing Coach for the upcoming season.
Wayne Sullivan – Assistant Coach
Wayne Sullivan moved from Sydney to Christchurch in 2011 and has been an impact player within the Canterbury Australian Football League over the past six seasons. The move to New Zealand followed a career with the Australian Defence Forces where he also participated in representative football.
Immediately he made an impact on the local scene taking out the CAFL Best and Fairest 2011 along with local club Christchurch Bulldogs Best and Fairest in 2011. Putting his hand up for regional representation, he was a member of the Canterbury Cobras National Provincial Championship winning teams in 2011 & 2012.
Wayne was selected by Rob Malone as the Central Giants Number 1 draft pick in the 2017 AFL New Zealand Premiership, but a knee injury in Round 1 ruled him out for the rest of the season.
Sullivan has turned his focus to coaching as he recuperates from injury and will be a valuable asset for Giants as he links in with fellow Cantabrians Izaak Williams and James Bowden.
Andrew Azzopardi – Assistant Coach
Andrew Azzopardi is new to the AFL New Zealand community and has recently taken on the role as Head Coach of the Howick Hornets in the Auckland AFL in 2017.
A natural leader, Azzopardi has made a big impact in his short time at the AAFL Club. Previously a struggling club, the Hornets in 2017 have been the surprise package in Auckland league with the highlight being a victory over the Mt Roskill Saints in October.
With sound knowledge of the game and and a background playing AFL in Melbourne’s East, Andrew will link in well with the Giants coaching staff in 2018.
James Bowden – Playing Assistant Coach
Former New Zealand representative James Bowden has been named as the Central Giants Playing Assistant Coach for the third consecutive season.
Bowden was the leading goal kicker for the Giants during the Inaugural season and plays a pivotal role on the field for the development of the Giants younger squad members.
Bowden’s career has seen him participate in in three International Cup campaigns including a ‘Best on Ground’ performance in New Zealand’s only victorious International Cup victory on the MCG against Papua New Guinea. National Provincial Championship victories with the Canterbury Cobras and a multitude of premierships in the CAFL with the Eastern Blues are also credits on his report card.