New Zealand midfielder is almost home.

New Zealand midfield recruit Dean Staunton is expected to make his debut, finally, for his country of birth when he takes the field for New Zealand against the Australian Academy during ANZAC clash in Wellington.


The game to be played at Westpac Stadium on April 24th 2018, is familiar to Staunton previously having missing the opportunity to play for his county following a late injury in 2014.

The Southern Districts midfielder was a team mate of fellow New Zealand representative Cameron Ilett in The Northern Territory Thunder Premiership victory in the strong NEAFL competition within Australia, stamping Northern Territory football on the map with a 100 point victory against Morningside in the NEAFL Grand Final that year.

With a history of Northern Territory representation throughout his junior career, Dean was involved with regular appearances in the strong NAB State Under 18 Championships with this leading to his selection in The Northern Territory Thunder team.

Following his late injury in 2014 that saw him miss his debut for New Zealand, Staunton faced a further set back with a broken a neck vertebrae suffered whilst playing for Northern territory Club side Southern Districts Crocodiles. Typical of Staunton’s toughness, his head was over the ball and he walked from the field despite the injury’s severity.

Following a full recovery from the injury, Staunton remains a key element of the Southern Districts team and will play a similar role for New Zealand when he meets the AFL Academy team.