The AFL New Zealand Rising Star award will be awarded weekly to a standout young player in the 2018 AFL New Zealand Premiership.
Each week the award will be allocated to those who show ability that favours the core components it takes to become an AFL Player. To be eligible to be nominated for the award, a player must be born in 2000 or younger.
The AFL New Zealand Rising Star award for round 9 of the 2018 AFL New Zealand Premiership has been awarded to Luke Williams from the AFL New Zealand Academy.
Luke has been involved in a number of rounds in this year’s Premiership playing as a development player which culminated in a dominant performance during the final round last weekend.
Luke doesn’t shy away from a contest and is hard at the football. With plenty of talent, Luke will continue to develop into a handy midfielder in year’s to come.
His next focus will be for the New Zealand Level 2 Academy side this coming weekend in Wellington before returning to local club side, Howick Hornets in the Auckland AFL in September.
“Luke’s confidence has grown with each opportunity to play in the Premiership. I look forward to seeing him bring his new knowledge and understanding into the Level 2 team as a leader of the group and also test his abilities with the U18’s in May. Well deserved, Luke will be a sought after draft pick in the Premiership 2019.” National Youth Manager, Mick Coultard.
AFL New Zealand Media had a chat with Luke during the week.
What School do you attend?
I attend Pakuranga College in Auckland.
What kind of sports did you play growing up?
I played Touch and Rugby League since I was 4-5 years old and have played multiple sports through Intermediate School from Rugby league to Volleyball.
How did you get into AFL?
I really got into AFL back in 2016 when my coach for college pushed me to my limits for an upcoming AFL Cup Secondary School tournament. It allowed me to show some skill during the tourmanet and I was awarded MVP.
What do you enjoy about playing AFL?
I love the support from friends, family, coaching staff. I also enjoy how physical and fast the game is.
What are your goals for AFL in the future?
My goal for AFL is to work hard and aim for the New Zealand Senior side in a few years and work my way up from there.
What do you think your biggest advantage is out on the field?
I think my biggest advantage is no fear, no matter how big my oppostioni is I’ll still try my best to attack the footy on ground or in the air.