Youth competition breaks new ground

Entering into its fourth season, the 2018 AFL New Zealand Youth Competition kicked off over the weekend in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch with superb football played in all three regions.


AFL New Zealand created the Youth competition in 2015 to compliment the pathway for participants to excel in AFL. Within the AFL New Zealand Youth competition there is a focus on improving athletes’ skills and fitness along with a training, game and development programme that highlights the necessary requirements throughout the pathway.

Each week, all age groups take part in a development session which lead into a game of AFL.

It was an exciting weekend in Canterbury as the first ever AFL New Zealand Youth competition kicked off in Christchurch.

Held at Burnside Park, a large number of new participants were getting their first taste of AFL in the region.

It was a high scoring affair in the Under 15 game as the Giants piled on 27 goals to defeat the Suns. Luke O’Sullivan and Laine Creighton kicked 6 and 5 goals respectively.

Along with the addition of the new location in Christchurch, an Under 12’s grade & 16 and Over Girls grades were introduced in Auckland to accompany the growth of the competition.

The Auckland competition adopted a new home at Unitec in Mt Albert where the Under 12’s grade kicked off the day.

The next generation of AFL stars produced a great game of footy with Oscar Williams kicking a game high six goals.

Following the Under 12’s, another historic occasion occurred as the Over 16 female grade took to the field for the first time.

Back in August, AFL New Zealand announced that the New Zealand Kahu would be representing at the AFL International Cup in 2020 and an influx of registrations came flooding in.

Debutant Yvette Lentner celebrated her first goal for the Magpies while NZ Kahu Kylie McGahan stole the show kicking five goals for the day.

In Wellington, a raft of new players made their debut and with the help from local club Hutt Valley Eagles, everyone had a ball.

Orlando Pender and Ben Roff were hot on attack in the U15 grade while in the U17’s, Ryan Awatere (brother of NZ senior player, Alex) stole the show as he steered the Giants to their first win of the season.

AFL New Zealand would like to thank all the volunteers who took time to help out throughout the day in all three locations.


Registrations are still open so for further information, head to or click the button below to register.




Player of the day:

Giants: JD Dawson

Bulldogs: George Smith

Player of the day:

Lions: Siena Edwards

Bulldogs: Max SerranoPlayer of the day:

Suns: Daniel McCarthy

Crows: Xavier Mexted



Player of the day:

Tigers: Kylie McGahan

Magpies: Georgia Leonard




Player of the day:

Bulldogs: Jacob Bailey

Lions: Thomas Smith

Player of the day:

Giants: William Anderson

Saints: Romeo Te Paiho



Player of the day:

Suns: Cameron Howison

Giants: Laine Creighton

Player of the day:

Crows: Thomas Turner

Saints: Joel Cameron