194cm Will Kempt from Wellington will be hot property at this years AFL New Zealand National Draft to be held in November.
Playing as a development player in the 2017 AFL New Zealand Premiership, the 17 year old from the Wellington City Saints now classifies as a senior player and will feature in the AFL New Zealand National Draft for the first time.
His role as a development player saw him play in multiple positions around the ground. In his three games, Will spent time in the midfield, defence and forward line and didn’t look out of place coming up against players ten years his senior. His best highlight was kicking a goal with his first touch of the footy at Premiership level during Round 5 earlier this year. His performance in this game earned him the Rising Star award.
With a Soccer background, Will plays for the St Patrick College (Silverstream) First XI and has picked up the game of AFL with ease. His involvement with the Youth Competition and AFL New Zealand Academy in recent years has seen his inclusion in the New Zealand Level 2 and U18 sides over the past twelve months.
“At 194cm, Will is very tall for his age and progressing well. It is good to see that he can utilise his size to his advantage.” Mick Coultard, National Youth Manager.
Development players who are announced for the 2018 AFL New Zealand Premiership will all be born in the year 2001 and are not guaranteed to play every week.
Will joins Isaac Piper and Declan Crann in the National Draft who have been featured over the past week.
We caught up with Will during the week to ask him a few questions.
What School do you attend?
I’m in year 12 at St Patrick’s College Silverstream, Wellington.
What kind of sports did you play growing up?
I started playing soccer when I was 3 and have played ever since, I’m currently playing in the first XI at St Pats and the U17 team at Upper Hutt Football Club.
How did you get into AFL?
I got into AFL through my Dad who played for the Wellington Saints. I said I was interested in playing so he came back to coach the Saints, the team I’m now playing for. My younger brother Alex (13) has just started with the AFLNZ Academy and I’m looking forward to him joining the Saints also.
What do you enjoy about playing AFL?
I enjoy AFL because it’s similar to Soccer but gives me more freedom and develops my skill in a different way. I also have really enjoyed meeting guys from all over NZ through the the academy and have made some great mates.
What are your goals for AFL in the future?
My future goals for AFL are to help the Wellington Saints to their first flag in a while, to make the level 2 NZ Hawks team this year, to make the Wellington Tigers team and start playing full time in the AFLNZ Premiership next year.
What do you think your biggest advantage is out on the field?
My biggest on field advantages would probably be my height, a good solid left foot and my ability to read a game which comes from my Soccer background.