The Western Crows have announced that they will add Auckland based New Zealand representative players, Shane Leat, Ty Smith and Te Kopa Tipene-Thomas to their retained players list for the 2018 AFL New Zealand Premiership.
The players classify as Retained Players List (RPL) 2 which is the retention of Auckland based New Zealand Senior Representatives. (Up to 3 players can be retained).
Now a regular in the Senior New Zealand set up, this speedy midfielder has been a key contributor to the Western Crows over the past two seasons and he will be working hard to get his side back to Premiership glory in 2018.
In 2016, Shane was a winning member of the Inaugural AFL New Zealand Premiership Cup in April, followed later that year with further success captaining his local Auckland club side, the Waitakere Magpies to the AAFL Premiership in an undefeated season.
The North Shore Tigers ruckman made his debut in the New Zealand side at the 2014 International Cup and recently returned from his second stint at the International Cup in August this year.
His biggest achievement so far came in 2016, where he won the inaugural AFL New Zealand Premiership with the Western Crows followed up by a best on ground performance against the AFL Academy side at QBE Stadium in April.
Ty is a smart footy player and uses his nous to outsmart the opposition to gain an advantage.
Te Kopa Tipene-Thomas
Since his New Zealand debut in April 2013, he has carved out an impressive pathway through to the Senior New Zealand team, along the way captaining the U16 New Zealand side, and being recognised as the 2014 and 2015 U16 AFL New Zealand Player of the Year.
His exceptional performance at this year’s International Cup earned him a spot in 2017 World Team as one of the best 22 players at the tournament.