Nominees for 2020 AFL New Zealand U17 Player of the Year

The AFL New Zealand High Performance Awards recognise, acknowledge and celebrate the very best in athletes, coaches, officials, administrators and volunteers and what they offer to the development of AFL in Aotearoa.


The scheduling of the awards for its eighth year was due to take place on April 4th. Due to COVID-19, this will now take place electronically and we encourage you to support those involved and their efforts.

The winner’s will be announced via the AFL New Zealand website and social media platforms in the coming weeks.

AFL New Zealand would like to congratulate the following nominees for the 2020 AFL New Zealand U17 Player of the Year.


Congratulations to all the nominees!


Caleb MacPherson

From Papanui High School in Christchurch, Caleb Macpherson played a number of games in the 2019 Premiership as a development player. His efforts playing for the Western Crows during round 5 earned him the Rising Star Award after a strong performance playing in the forward line. Caleb was also selected into the the ‘Team of the Week’ for that round.

Standing at 195cm, Macpherson represented New Zealand for the level 2 Academy side before getting selected for the New Zealand U18 side to travel to Melbourne in April last year.


Daniel McCarthy

Daniel McCarthy was a development player during the 2019 Premiership and was awarded the Rising Star in Round 7 after an impressive performance playing for the Central Giants.

Daniel is a consistent player and is hungry for more development. Daniel plays for the Howick Hornets in the Auckland AFL and continues to hone in on his skills in hope of one day playing for the New Zealand Falcons.

Daniel represented the AFL New Zealand Academy Level 2 side in April last year and his next goal is to the make the NZ U18 side.


Doug McJorrow

Doug McJorrow is from Wellington and has represented and Captained both the AFLNZ Academy Level 1 and Level 2 sides.

Doug received the round 2 Rising Star in the 2018 Premiership and was the recipient of the 2018 National Rising Star at the High Performance Awards.

McJorrow was drafted to the Central Giants for the 2020 AFL New Zealand Premiership.


Kieran Charlton

Kieran Charlton is a tough defender with a solid overhead mark.

He took the role at Fullback with the Level 2 Academy side in April last year and showed what he can produce against the touring Australian side.

In May 2019, Charlton travelled to Melbourne with the U18 NZ side and played a stellar game off the halfback line. His efforts saw him receive the best on ground nod.

Kieran plays for the Eastern Blues in the Canterbury league and this young talent will continue to develop and has the potential to become a regular in the New Zealand senior side in years to come.


Xavier Bryham

Xavier Bryham played as a development player in the 2019 Premiership competition and in round 3, he was awarded the Rising Star playing for the Northern Suns.

The young forward plays for the North Shore Tigers in the Auckland AFL and was drafted to the Southern Saints for the 2020 AFLNZ Premiership.

It has been a busy past 12 months for Xavier as the 17 year old represented New Zealand at Academy level before being picked for the New Zealand U18 side to travel to Melbourne in April.