2017 AFL New Zealand Premiership Western Crows squad member Peter Pirangi has set his eyes on making the New Zealand side to compete at the 2020 AFL International Cup in Melbourne.
The 26 year old former Muay Thai fighter is in his fourth year playing the sport and after watching New Zealand take on the world at the 2017 International Cup, it has inspired him to set a goal of making the 2020 New Zealand squad.
Currently playing for the North Shore Tigers in the Auckland AFL, Peter was introduced to the sport by his father-in-law and hasn’t looked back since playing his first game.
AFL New Zealand media had a chat with Peter to get more of an insight into his background and motivation to make the NZ side.
What do you enjoy about AFL?
I enjoy what team sport can teach/give you in terms of skills that can be transferred from on field to off the field environments. How to work in a team, how to communicate effectively, how to plan, what processes you need to work through to achieve your goals (pun intended) and how to self-reflect on performances and evaluate and re-evaluate yourself.
The comradery is probably the most enjoyable part of it all though, here at the Tigers we say “Once a Tiger, always a Tiger”. It really is that way and I think that encompasses all the values and beliefs we have. We also have a healthy and strong family presence and you could probably say our club is the most family oriented in the Auckland competition. We’re more than just an AFL team.
What’s the motivation and drive behind wanting to make the New Zealand team?
There are a lot of factors involved in this. My aim is to play at the highest level and although I have a long way to go, through hard work, strength and conditioning and game and skill development, I’m positive I’ll get there.
Like every other Kiwi I’d love to be able to wear that silver fern across my chest, having that opportunity would be an accomplishment in itself and symbolic of the hard work it takes to represent yourself, your country and family.
My beautiful wife Imogen, is my biggest supporter and a strong influence of bettering myself as a sports player, uncle and husband. So I would really like to make her proud.
What are some of the challenges you see over the next 3 years to make the International Cup squad?
I’d say the biggest challenge would be trying to stay injury free. I acknowledge that injuries happen all the time and I can’t say I will remain injury free but that’s just something I’d have to handle if it came up. I’ve had no major issues since I started playing the sport and fingers crossed I don’t pick up any.
Another big challenge I would say is to keeping my position in the team. The Tigers have a fair bit of talent this season and with quality opposition each week, no one is guaranteed a spot on the 24 man roster. We’re all on our toes and can’t get complacent. All for the betterment of the Tigers campaign for the 2017 flag.
How do I see yourself going in the 2018 premiership?
I am keen to further develop my game in during the 2018 Premiership. Playing with the top AFL players from around the country and having the best coaching staff available, you get to focus on smaller jobs throughout the season which will only better my game.