New Zealand Falcons ready for AFL Academy challenge

The NAB AFL Australian Under-17 team will play the open aged New Zealand Falcons in an international match at Marvel Stadium on Saturday, April 27.


The match is a curtain raiser to the St Kilda and Adelaide Crows game and will commence at 1:30pm AEST.

Marvel Stadium will be open to those wishing to attend. Gate 3 will be open from 1:10pm AEST and entry cost includes the AFL match.

This year will mark the eighth time the Australian Under-17 side has played against New Zealand and for the first time, New Zealand will travel across the ditch to Melbourne following changes to the NAB AFL Academy programming.

Players in this year’s squad are eligible for the 2020 NAB AFL Draft. The players will follow in the footsteps of Fremantle’s Jesse Hogan, Collingwood’s James Aish, Gold Coast Suns’ Jack Martin, North Melbourne’s Luke McDonald, West Coast Eagles’ Dom Sheed, GWS Giants’ Josh Kelly and St Kilda’s Jack Billings and Luke Dunstan now all household names in the AFL after playing for Australia in the first match against New Zealand in 2012.

This year, the NAB AFL Australian Under-17 squad will see possible father-son selections in Luke Edwards (Adelaide Crows) and Taj Schofield (Port Adelaide) take to the field.

Oliver Henry, the younger brother of Geelong defender Jack Henry and Henry Walsh, younger brother of Carlton’s Rising Star nominee, Sam Walsh, will also be making their debut for Australia.

The Australian team will be coached by NAB AFL Academy coach Luke Power with assistants Brad Johnson, Nick Dal Santo and Brent Harvey.

“To represent your country in your chosen sport is one of the highest honours anyone can achieve,” AFL Talent Ambassador Kevin Sheehan said.

“The NAB AFL Australian Under-17 team comprises primarily of players who were selected as NAB AFL All-Australians at Under 16 level last year as well as several 17-year-olds who have performed well over the year.

“The open aged New Zealand team comprises of players who were recently selection in recent National League matches as well as several New Zealanders now playing in competitions in Australia. We look forward to an exciting game on Saturday.”

New Zealand Falcons
1. Shane Leat
6. Reed Cathcart
8. Jay Johnson
9. Will Dickinson
10. Andrew Howison
11. Misilifi Faimalo
12. Mykelti Lefau
16. Ben Hick
18. Liam Beattie
19. Brandon Sucu
20. Andriu Sucu
22. Will Gregson
23. Aaron Harris
25. Ty Smith
26. Jonothan Macanawai
29. Ben Northover
32. Shem Tatupu
38. Dean Staunton
43. Matt Argus
44. Max Urwin
45. Lachie Argus
46. Cameron Illet
47. Sam Anderson
58. Jared Illet

NAB AFL Australian Under-17
1. Errol Gulden (Swans Academy)
2. Corey Durdin (Central District)
3. Braeden Campbell (Swans Academy)
4. Tanner Bruhn (Geelong Falcons)
5. Oliver Davis (Clarence)
6. Taj Schofield (Subiaco/WWT)
7. Will Phillips (Oakleigh Chargers)
8. Nathan O’Driscoll (Perth)
9. Luke Edwards (Glenelg)
10. Zane Trew (Swan Districts)
11. Brandon Walker (East Fremantle)
12. Connor Downie (Eastern Ranges)
13. Sam Collins (North Hobart)
14. Jye Sinderberry (West Adelaide)
15. Zachary Dumesny (South Adelaide)
16. Elijah Hollands (Murray Bushrangers)
17. Oliver Henry (Geelong Falcons)
18. Alex Davies (Suns Academy)
19. Logan McDonald (Perth)
20. Jamarra Ugle-Hagan (GWV Rebels / Oakleigh Chargers)
21. Ethan Baxter (Murray Bushrangers)
25. Nikolas Cox (Northern Knights)
26. Jackson Callow (North Launceston)
27. Campbell Edwardes (Calder Cannons)
28. Kaine Baldwin (Glenelg)
29. Denver Grainger-Barras (Swan Districts)
30. Riley Thilthorpe (West Adelaide)
36. Henry Walsh (Geelong Falcons)