Mykelti Lefau debuted for New Zealand in 2017 and was a great performer for the Senior team. Auckland born Lefau, playing for the Casey Demons in the VFL also had a game to remember.
The 19 year old, only took up AFL four years ago and showed that he is a star in the making with his ferocious attack on the footy along with his solid defence.
He also shone at the National Combine as the standout athlete during the event. National Combine participants were invited to attend based on their potential at the AFL Academy held around the country from February to April of this year.
The top 40 athletes who have been involved with the AFL New Zealand High Performance programme were invited to attend. Participants are tested in the 20-metre sprint, vertical leap and 20-metre agility test, before running through drills that test AFL specific skills. The day concludes with all participants competing in the Beep Test.
18 year old at the time, he recorded the best results in three out of the five tests and finishing second and third in the remaining two. With a Running vertical leap of 100cm, Mykelti just sits behind AFL record holder Nic Naitanui (102cm) and is now the New Zealand record holder.
The Regional and National Combines are an important element of the AFL New Zealand High Performance programme, which also includes training, match and development elements. Opportunities exist for the best athletes to represent New Zealand at AFL, an honour that a small number of Combine participants have achieved at age group level.
Playing for St Kilda City Under 19s in the Southern Football League late in 2016 Lefau had a match to remember, drilling 25 of his team’s 28 goals in a big victory over Carrum Patterson Lakes. It’s that type of X factor that could produce a result for the New Zealand team this year.