The AFL New Zealand Premiership Development Round will take place this weekend at QBE Stadium
Round 7 will include 16 development players from the AFL New Zealand Youth Academy who will don the Premiership jerseys for their respective teams, signifying the next wave of AFL athletes emerging through the ranks.
Throughout the AFL New Zealand Premiership season, a number of talented players from the AFL New Zealand Academy have been provided the opportunity to participate in the Premiership as development players. AFL New Zealand National Youth Manager Mick Coultard and U18 New Zealand Coach Chris Mundell will observe the development players throughout the two matches and will provide quality feedback.
The opportunity is utilised to further develop and manage the environment for young players and their introduction into senior football. The preparation they receive will potentially see them drafted and playing in the 2019 AFLNZ Premiership as a full time participant.
High Performance management will roster development players to team’s week to week dependant on several factors including the players stage of development and physical preparedness and capability.
Development Players will train with the Premiership group in their region along with their Academy commitments. Development opportunities on game day will be managed by AFL New Zealand and respective coaches this will include specific timing, rotation, opposition match ups and player review throughout the day.
New Zealand Senior Captain Andrew Howison will return to Aotearoa and make his debut in the Premiership for the Central Giants along with International Cup star Will Gregson who will also compete. The experienced pair, along with the current New Zealand senior players will focus on offering advice and guidance to the new rising stars in the AFL New Zealand community.
The Southern Saints will be looking for a hat trick of victories when they look to cause another upset against the undefeated Giants when they clash at 11.30am.
Following their defeat to the Saints, the Western Crows need a win against the Northern Suns to keep their Premiership hopes alive. The two sides clash at 1.45pm on Sunday March 25th.
It all happens at QBE Stadium in Albany and entry is FREE!!!