The AFL New Zealand Rising Star award will be awarded weekly to a standout young player in the 2018 AFL New Zealand Premiership.
Each week the award will be allocated to those who show ability that favours the core components it takes to become an AFL Player. To be eligible to be nominated for the award, a player must be born in 2000 or younger.
The AFL New Zealand Rising Star award for round 1 of the 2018 Premiership has been awarded to Daniel Howie of the Southern Saints.
191cm Daniel Howie from Auckland’s North Shore was drafted by the Southern Saints during the 2017 National Draft after impressing as a development player in last year’s competition.
His development was hindered after a host of injuries ruled him out of the AFL New Zealand Academy and national representation in April
In January this year, Howie recorded a 10 minute 19 second three kilometre time trial which ranked him alongside top New Zealand senior players and for an athlete of his height, plus an array on strong on field traits, he will be on the radar of the coaching staff of all the four teams.
“Daniel has great endurance for a tall athlete and has been hindered in his development due to injuries over the past 12 months. It’s great to see him back to full health and thoroughly deserves the Rising Star award.” National Youth Manager Mick Coultard.
AFL New Zealand Media caught up with Daniel to ask him a few questions about his burgeoning AFL career.
What School/University do you attend?
This year I’m doing a Theology/Vocational course after just finishing from Takapuna Grammar School (Auckland) last year.
What kind of sports did you play growing up?
Growing up, my main sport was Cricket but also played Football and Rugby as well.
How did you get into AFL?
I started my first season of AFL in 2011 when I lived in Broken Hill (NSW) for Central Football Club. We lived there for 18 months and I got into the sport after watching the finals of the 2010 season.
When I moved back to New Zealand I saw the Youth competition advertised and signed up.
What do you enjoy about playing AFL?
I love how the game requires a high level of fitness and how it forces players to keep pushing and make decisions through fatigue.
What are your goals for AFL in the future?
My goal in 2018 is to make the National U18 team that will travel to Melbourne in May.
What do you think your biggest advantage is out on the field?
My biggest advantage on the field would be my height. It helps me in marking contests and rucking situations and the extra leverage also helps when kicking for distance.