From Auckland to the AFL, Mykelti Lefau a Richmond Tiger

Mykelti Lefau has completed his unique rise to the AFL, signing a rookie deal with Richmond Tigers for the 2024 season on the final day of the pre-season supplementary signing period (SSP).

Lefau was one of two players who trained trained with the Tigers over summer, chasing one vacant spot on Richmond’s list. The 23-year old made the most out of his last chance to impress coaches in Sunday’s match simulation against Melbourne, showcasing his strength, athleticism and footy instincts, delivering a brutal bump on experienced Demons defender Jake Lever and kicking a handy goal in the fourth term.

Originally from Auckland, Lefau moved across to Melbourne in 2012, spending time in the Melbourne Storm development system before making the decision to play AFL full time.

Mykelti at the 2017 AFL New Zealand Combine

Prior to the Pandemic, Lefau embraced every opportunity presented to him, playing a couple games for the Casey Demons in the VFL, dominating in the AFL New Zealand National Combine and also representing New Zealand in the Senior New Zealand Falcons side on numerous occasions including the 2017 International Cup. He then returned to local football level where he played for St Kilda City in the Southern Football League. It was with St Kilda City that he, as a junior, kicked 25 goals in single game in 2016.

In 2022, he was one of two Kiwis that joined Richmond’s VFL program where he played 6 games before suffering an ACL tear that ended his first season with the tigers.

After a long road to recovery, Lefau returned to the side in June 2023, playing 11 VFL games and putting his career back on track.

Mykelti’s rise into the AFL ranks shines a positive light over potential opportunities for kiwis pushing for success in the sport, showing that it is still possible to make an AFL List without needing to be drafted or sign on to an international scholarship.

AFL New Zealand and it’s community is excited to see Mykelti’s hard work paying off and can’t wait to see him hopefully make his AFL debut later this year