The Central Giants have utilised their priority picks ahead of this year’s National Draft to secure the signing of Auckland based New Zealand Representatives Harison Manks and Josh Cunliffe for the 2018 AFL New Zealand Premiership.
The Giants have used a Priority pick to secure the two New Zealand stars under the ruling of the Retained Player List (RPL) Category 2, stating:
Each Premiership side will be able to retain up to three players that are Auckland based who have represented New Zealand at senior level in the past 12 months (if a Premiership side cannot supply the required amount of representatives from the 2017 season, a Priority Draft Pick will be allocated to rectify this.)
2017 was a big year for the Central Giants new recruit Josh Cunliffe. After winning the Premiership with the Southern Saints in April, Josh set himself a goal of making the New Zealand side for the AFL International Cup and worked hard to achieve that goal, finding himself on a plane to Melbourne in August.
Josh has been playing the sport since 2009 after being persuaded by his friends to come and play for the North Shore Tigers in the Auckland AFL. The English born recruit has had an unusual journey culminating in New Zealand representation in August.
The 26 year old is a hard running small forward who loves to kick a goal. His versatility often sees him as a key defender when required.
Harison Manks was a squad member of the Premiership winning Southern Saints in 2017 and made his debut for New Zealand during the ANZAC game against the AFL Academy in April.
The 20 year old will be welcome addition to the Central Giants in 2018. A smart defender, Manks will team with recent recruit and fellow national representative Craig Morgan in the backline. He has a strong mark and often leads the statistics in this category.