The Southern Saints have announced that they will add Regional based players Hayden Johnston and Sam Blackler to their retained players list for the 2018 AFL New Zealand Premiership.
The players have been retained through Category 3 of the Retained Players List (RPL): Retention of Regionally based players (Christchurch/ Dunedin/ Wellington) who have not played for the New Zealand Senior team over the past 12 months.
The Southern Saints have retained the services of Hayden Johnston for the 2018 AFL New Zealand Premiership.
The 18 year old from Otago is one of New Zealand’s bright young talents who has the potential to make a big name for himself in the AFL New Zealand community.
With two seasons of Premiership footy under his belt, Johnston will come back in 2018 bigger, faster and more skillful and look to dominate.
Sam Blackler from the Eastern Blues in the Canterbury AFL league will return to the Premiership side in 2018.
The 26 year old has represented Canterbury and the NZ Hawks at U20 level back in 2011 and was an was an early draft pick this time last year.
Blackler spent time away from the sport to focus on his young family but is now back playing and looking forward to playing again with the best players from around New Zealand.