Draft Preview: Big names return for 2017 National Draft

This year’s AFL New Zealand National Draft will feature some big names who are either returning or making their debut in the 2018 AFL New Zealand Premiership. James McKenzie, Vandyn ‘Diesel’ Hartman, Alex Fakatoumafi and Tim Stokes have all represented the New Zealand National side and will be available for selection on draft night and all four players will be in high demand.  


The 2017 AFL New Zealand National Draft will take place November 21st at 8.00pm and will see all players placed into one of four list categories. The Draft will be live via the AFL New Zealand Twitter Page.


James McKenzie

Position: Forward

Aucklander James McKenzie was one of the in form players for the Northern Suns during the early rounds of the 2016 AFL New Zealand Premiership until a shoulder injury ruled him out for the next 12 months.

The 22 year old is a fast and agile small forward who knows how to kick a goal or two and has represented New Zealand in the past.

James is the brother of new Central Giants Captain Samuel McKenzie and if selected, they could form a formidable duo in the Giants forward line.


Vandyn Hartman

Position: Midfield

Vandyn ‘Diesel’ Hartman will be hot property at the 2017 AFL New Zealand National Draft.

The 2011 AFL International Cup squad member hasn’t played in the Premiership before but has been playing AFL for seven years.

Vandyn plays for the Manurewa Raiders in the Auckland AFL and is a tough midfielder which great skills who can run all day.

Hartman could be a good fit for the Western Crows midfield which will see him link up with Andrew Crighton who was his New Zealand U16 Coach at the 2010 Oceania Cup.


Alex Fakatoumafi

Position: Forward

Former Northern Suns Assistant Coach Alex Fakatoumafi will pull on the boots for the first time in the 2018 AFL New Zealand Premiership[p

Injury has hampered Alex over the past two seasons which has kept him on the sidelines but is now fully fit and looking to make a mark on the Premier AFL competition in New Zealand.

Alex plays for the Manurewa Raiders in the Auckland AFL and is a strong full forward with great marking ability.

Fakatoumafi has had International representation with both Tonga and New Zealand including an International Cup victory in 2005 with New Zealand.


Tim Stokes

Position: Midfield

University Blues midfielder Tim Stokes has re-entered into the National Draft in search of new opportunities.

Formerly a Northern Suns squad member for the past two seasons, Tim is hard, physical midfielder who positions himself well around the ground.

Named in the 2016 AFL New Zealand Premiership Team of the Year, Tim made his debut for New Zealand against the AFL Academy in April 2016.

With two Premiership seasons under his belt, all four Premiership sides will be fighting for this very experienced midfielder.


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