New Zealand Senior Vice Captain Samuel McKenzie has joined Andy Howison in committing to be apart of the 2020 AFL International Cup in Melbourne, Australia.
Sam is a regular in the New Zealand national side and played in his second AFL International Cup in August 2017.
After spending his first two seasons playing for the Southern Saints in the AFL New Zealand Premiership, the 29 year old Aucklander made the move to the Central Giants in 2018 and Captained the side to it’s first Premiership in April this year.
McKenzie was the golden boot runner up during the 2017 AFL New Zealand Premiership finishing with 20 goals for the season and is a marking forward/midfielder whose contesting marking skill provides him with the ability to play against much bigger defensive opponents and still provide potency with his goal kicking ability.
When asked about his reasons for going around again, it became very clear.
“Both International Cup’s I have played at (2014 and 2017) have been amazing experiences. It is certainly the highlight in International AFL and one you want to repeat if you get the chance. Add getting as close as we did at last year’s tournament on top of that and I have some serious motivation to get back over in 2020 and make amends.
All the work AFL NZ has done in junior development is starting to show at the top end with a great group of kids coming through.
There were a couple of stand-outs who made the 2017 team, but by 2020 I expect a big group of them will be pushing for selection. It is certainly keeping a few of us older boys on our toes, as we know that we will need to be playing well to make the squad. There is a lot of footy and hard work ahead over the next 2 years to be ready, but I’m looking forward to the challenge. Bring on 2020.”
Read more: 2020 vision: NZ Captain commits to next International Cup