Draft Preview: Hard to separate Academy graduates

With such amazing talent coming through the AFL New Zealand Academy system, a number of graduates will be in hot demand at next Tuesday’s National Draft.


We take a look at three of the AFL New Zealand Academy Graduates that all four Premiership sides will be vying for on November 21st.


Jacob Tucker

Jacob Tucker is making a big name for himself in the AFL New Zealand community.

Having spent 3 years in the AFL Academy programme, Tucker has now graduated and is one of the shining lights for the North Shore Tigers in the Auckland AFL.

Jake was given the Rising Star award in the 2017 AFL New Zealand Premiership playing as a development player and his effective kicking and sharp handballs drew praise from Senior New Zealand Coach Rob Malone.

Make sure you keep an eye out for this young talent on the footy field during the 2018 season.


Clayton Walters

Clayton Walters has developed very quickly with AFL over the past two seasons. He was selected into the AFL New Zealand Academy system after impressing in the 2016 Youth competition.

Playing as a development player during the 2017 season, Walters earned himself a round 2 Rising Star award after a dominant four goal performance in the forward line for the Southern Saints.

His fast pace and low centre of gravity makes him the perfect small forward and used this pace to beat the opposition defenders.

Clayton does the fundamentals amazingly well and doesn’t try to over complicate the game which makes him stand out.


James Dakin

James Dakin from Western Springs College has had a rapid rise in the sport of AFL in the past 2 years.

Another Rising Star award winner in 2017, Dakin has represented the Level 1 New Zealand Academy side and made his debut for the New Zealand Under 18 side on May this year.

The 17 year old’s strength’s are his skill execution and making level headed decisions under pressure.

James is the son of former Auckland AFL Best and Fairest winner, Paul Dakin.


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