Nominees for 2020 Rising Star Award

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 Rising Star Award.


Congratulations to all the nominees!


Angus Hammett

Angus Hammett is in his third year of playing AFL and is starting to make a big impact in the game.

From Canterbury, Hammett had a strong Level 2 Academy campaign in April last year and was awarded best on ground in game 1 after a strong performance.

Strong in stature, Hammett will continue to develop into an all round footballer.


Alex Kempt

Alex Kempt is on the fast track to big things within the footy community.

Alex represented the Level 2 Academy in April last year and played a key role in both games against the Mornington Peninsula Junior Football League at North Harbour Stadium.

Kempt has a great game understanding for such a young player and will look to continue to develop his game with goals of making the New Zealand Senior side in the future.


Connor McIver-Rhodes

Connor McIver-Rhodes is from Auckland and represented the AFLNZ Academy Level 1 in April last year for the first time.

McIver-Rhodes first got involved in the Youth competition in 2018 and progressed into the Academy the following year.

Connor has great speed and skill execution and will continue to develop his game.


Jacob Nyman

Jacob Nyman was the star of the show for the Level 1 side during the Mornington campaign in April last year.

The hard running midfielder showed his skills and was named best on ground for both games.

Nyman is committed to the sport and looks to further develop his game in years to come.


Xavier Giles

Xavier Giles is from the Canterbury region and following a strong Academy performance, Giles was selected to come to Auckland and represent the Level 1 side in April last year.

Playing at Fullback, Xavier was tremendous for the NZ Level 1 side. His strong marking, accurate kicking and all round effort earned him a best on ground award in game 1.

Xavier is hard at the contest and is willing and determined to develop his game through the AFL Academy.