Hutt Park in Wellington played host to the AFLNZ National Academy League over the ANZAC Day weekend.
In what was the culmination of a very successful 13 week AFL Academy, 50 players from 9 regions around the country came together to play a 2 game series between the Academy Crow’s and the Academy Giants. The remaining 24 players that originally made up the academy were part of the U16 NZ Hawks who played their own series against a travelling South East Victorian team.
Included in the trip was heading along to Westpac Stadium to watch the annual ANZAC Day AFL game between St Kilda and Carlton. For most of the group it was the first time watching an AFL game live.
“The AFLNZ Academy has been a big success in its first year and AFL New Zealand will work hard to improve that in 2016” AFL New Zealand High Performance Manager Mick Coultard
The parents of Rotorua based player Masiu Vainikolo were very satisfied with the Academy programme, “I was so impressed with the Academy, that if it started again next week, I would happily get Masiu involved.”
Giants: 11.7: 73
Crows: 9.7: 61
Giants: Kaleb Forde-Fraser 3, Harrison Johnson 2, William Kainana, Zeon McNabb, Heta Scarf-Matthews, Josh Copeland, Lewis Gill, Luke Dunning.
Crows: Jackson Rolleston 2, Nathan Lenihan 2, Hamish Lucas 2, Carlos Donnell-Brown, Jackson Shervey, Southen Smith.
Giants: 9.8: 62
Crows: 8.9: 57
Giants: Rawiri Milne 4, Kaleb Forde-Fraser 2, Heta Scarf-Matthews, Francis Pederson, Masiu Vainikolo.
Crows: Carlos Donnell-Brown 2, Southen Smith 2, Israel Irving, Harley Swinbourn-King, Giovanni Mountain-Silbery.
Players of the Tournament:
Crows: Carlos Donnell Brown
Giants: Alex Awatere
Player of the tournament: Christian Blackie