The U16 NZ Hawks participated in the Oceania Cup in 2009, 2010 & 2011. The tournament has provided a great opportunity for New Zealand’s talented young athletes to showcase themselves in the hope of securing an AFL career. The results have been rewarding with International Scholarships presented to Rhys Panui-Leth, Ben Miller, Shem Tatupu and Charlton Brown over the three years of involvement with this competition.
The 2011 Oceania Cup in Fiji saw the U16 NZ Hawks successful in their campaign for the first time. The strength of Papua New Guinea and New Zealand has seen a transition in the format of the competition. New Zealand’s direct entry into the South Pacific Cup is a successful step in the development of the sport for this age group as well as increased competition for the team.
The 2013 team has been selected through the AFLNZ Combine Programme, NZ Hawks High Performance Programme as well as participation in the AFL NZ U16 National Championships held in Wellington. The AFLNZ Combine Programme was completed in January with 40 star athletes attending the National Combine held in Wellington on January 24th earlier this year. AFL scouts from a variety of clubs attended the event with a further two international scholarships allocated to Siope Ngata from the Hawthorn Football Club and Maia Westrupp with the Melbourne Football Club.
The team will be gathering in Auckland on April 6 before travelling to Townsville, Queensland on the 7th and returning on the 13th. They will play against Papua New Guinea and a united Oceania team.
From this tournament, AFL New Zealand is hopeful of providing the South Pacific Under 16 team with a large number of representatives that will participate in the Australian National Championships later this year.
U16 NZ Hawks – South Pacific Cup 2013
Coach: Mick Coultard
Assistant Coach: Shannon Wall
Assistant Coach: Jared Court
Assistant Coach: Shane Leat
Team Manager: Trevor Beasley
Physio: Jenny Lucy
Te Kopa Tipene-Thomas
Utu Ah Kuoi
Nico van der Wilt
Te Rei Clark