Development Players to return for the 2018 Premiership

The AFL New Zealand Premiership will provide a number of talented players from the AFL New Zealand Academy the opportunity to participate in the Premiership as development players.


The opportunity will be utilised to further development and manage the environment for young players and their introduction into senior football. The preparation they receive will potentially see them drafted and playing in the 2019 AFLNZ Premiership as a full time participant.

Those announced are all born in the year 2001 and are not guaranteed to play in the premiership or play every week. High Performance management will distribute development players to team’s week to week dependant on several factors including;

  • The players stage of development
  • The players physical preparedness and capability
  • Approval from AFLNZ, the participants parents and the participant

The Development Player roster will be allocated in 3 blocks over the 9-week competition.  Development Players will train with the Academy as per schedule. As players are allocated to a team to play, they will that week, train with the premiership group.

On game day, athletes will still be prepared during their Academy session and then play in the Premiership fixture.  Development opportunities will be managed by AFL New Zealand and respective coaches this will include specific timing, rotation and opposition match ups throughout the game.

The 16 Development Players from the 2017 AFL New Zealand Premiership were all recently drafted into each of the four teams during the 2017 National Draft.

The 2018 Development Players will be announced in January following the selection of the AFL New Zealand Academy.