Rookie Programme set to uncover rough diamonds

The 2021 AFL New Zealand Premiership will launch a number of new initiatives targeting the introduction of new participants from regional leagues and clubs.

With the 2020 Grand Final rescheduled for Sunday October 25th, recruitment will commence immediately for the 2021 season due to commence February 2021.

The AFLNZ Rookie Programme will target players born 2003 and older who have not previously played in the AFLNZ Premiership and have not played in Australian competition.

Over the past five seasons in the AFL New Zealand Premiership, The Development Player Programme has been the catalyst in transitioning players aged 16 & 17, from Academy ranks to Senior football. This has however, failed to capture those of mature age who have transitioned from other sports or newcomers to the code.

Aucklander Mitch Weir made his debut for the Central Giants in 2020 and excelled in his first season in the national competition.

“The Premiership was a great experience! The organisers, facilities and passion the sport was played with over the season was very memorable. Looking forward to playing for the Giants again in 2021!”

Kris Wilder played 5 games for the University Cougars in Canterbury before being drafted for the Western Crows last year.

“The Premiership is quite professional, it’s like the Mitre 10 Cup in rugby, that’s the best way I can describe it.”

The focus on youth is well established but the Rookie programme will open new doors for those wishing to make a mark in a sport that is relatively new to them.

Consultation with local club delegates and coaches will lead to the nomination by each registered club to enter into the Rookie Programme for the 2021 season.

To nominate yourself or a player you know, Click here.