Mornington Peninsula players Charlie Dixon and Matthew Bennetts will travel over to NZ from Victoria this week to play in the 2018 AFL New Zealand Premiership.
The two players are representatives of the Somerville Football Club, based on the Mornington Peninsula (60km south of Melbourne) and return to New Zealand after first visiting the country with the Mornington Peninsula BlueScope Steelers Under 16’s in April of 2017, playing against the Level 2 New Zealand Academy team in Wellington.
The pair are the second group of players to come back to New Zealand after Matt Mayne and Khyal Jacobson spent two weeks in the country last year playing in the Premiership.
Their involvement will be as Development Players and follow a similar pathway to AFL New Zealand Academy who are introduced to Senior football through New Zealand’s premier competition.
Charlie rotates between the ruck, on ball and in the forward line while Matthew is fast and agile and generally plays on the on the wing.
“For a number of years now, Kiwis have had to move off shore to experience quality football. The aim of the AFLNZ Premiership is to provide a pathway that allows New Zealand’s elite players the opportunity to compete in a meaningful competition without the need to move to Australia. We are hopeful on attracting more players from Australia to compliment the development of AFL.” AFLNZ CEO Robert Vanstam.
As part of their experience the two boys will also have the opportunity to undertake work experience with AFL New Zealand over a two week period.