Nominees for AFL New Zealand U17 Player of the year

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


The winner will be announced at the 2018 High Performance Awards which will be held on Sunday the 22nd of April at Mac’s Function Centre in Wellington.


Congratulations to all the nominees!


Couper Jones

Couper Jones is from Auckland’s North Shore and attends Long Bay College.

Now in his third season playing AFL, Couper has developed into a handy small forward.

After playing as a development player in the 2017 AFL New Zealand Premiership, Couper was drafted by the Southern Saints for 2018 and has had a consistent debut season.


Declan Crann

Midfielder Declan Crann has gone from strength to strength over the past 12 months.

A player full of talent with a strong AFL build, Declan has supreme fitness and was awarded a Rising Star during the 2017 Premiership before being drafted by the Central Giants in 2018.

Declan will make his debut in the New Zealand Senior side when they play the AFL Academy at Westpac Stadium on Tuesday April 24th.


Jake Tucker

Jake Tucker was selected by the Western Crows as the Number 1 pick in the AFL New Zealand National Draft after a stellar 2017 AFL season.

The 17 year old has been a standout for the Crows in the Premiership this year with his fast pace and superb disposal efficiency.

Jake represented the New Zealand U18 side on their tour to Melbourne in 2017 and was the AFL New Zealand Premiership Rising Star recipient in Round 1 last season.


James Dakin

James attends Western Springs College in Auckland and has been involved with AFL in NZ for the past 4 seasons.

Developing rapidly, James won the AFL New Zealand Premiership with the Central Giant after being drafted by the team in November 2017.

James was a key member in the New Zealand U18 side that toured Melbourne in May of 2017 and is one to watch in the future.


William Kempt

194cm Will Kempt burst onto the AFL New Zealand scene playing as a development player in the 2017 Premiership.

He earned a rising star award for his performance playing in his debut game for the Central Giants and was drafted by the Northern Suns for the 2018 season.

A member of the 2017 U18 tour to Melbourne, Will plays a key forward who has a strong mark and accurate kick in front of goal.