The New Zealand Hawks are once again set to take on the best young players from Australia.
The AFL have confirmed that the NAB AFL Academy team will return to New Zealand shores to take on the senior NZ Hawks national side in a one off game at North Harbour Stadium on the 24th of April 2016.
Lead by AFL National Talent Manager Kevin Sheehan, the trip will be the 5th time the AFL Academy has toured New Zealand and Sheehan is excited to bring back a brand new squad full of talent. “We certainly look forward returning to New Zealand and building on the successful experiences of past NAB AFL Academy tours.”
It will be the first time the game has been played at AFL New Zealand’s newest AFL ground at North Harbour Stadium and a rivalry is developing between the New Zealand Hawks and the AFL Academy. After four competitive matches since its inception in 2011, the New Zealand Hawks will be looking to record their first win over the visitors in what will be a fantastic weekend.
The Hawks team last played the AFL Academy in April 2015 at Wellingtons Westpac Stadium where the New Zealanders performed well against the elite youth of Australia but were defeated by the skillful Aussies.
AFL New Zealand Hawks
Andrew Howison Captain Melbourne
James Kusel Leadership Group Wellington
Michael Boyce Leadership Group Auckland
Aaron Harris Leadership Group Brisbane
Samuel McKenzie Leadership Group Wellington
Barclay Miller Melbourne
Will Gregson Auckland
Brandon Sucu Auckland
Tim Stokes Auckland
Joseph Baker Thomas Melbourne
Brendan Clark Brisbane
William Warbrick Bay of Plenty
Jordan Drinkall Auckland
Levi Inglis Canterbury
Ben Hick Auckland
Kyle Smith Canterbury
Misilifi (Richard) Faimalo Wellington
Ty Smith Auckland
Kahurangi Robinson Bay of Plenty
Christian Blackie Otago
Heta Scarf-Matthews Otago
Te Kopa Tipene Thomas Northland
Jay Johnson Canterbury
Troy Brown Auckland
Fraser Stevens Auckland
Jessie Baty Auckland
Alistair Maisey Auckland
Josh Cunliffe Auckland
Thursday April 21st – Player arrive in Auckland
Friday April 22nd – Training camp
Saturday April 23rd – 6.00pm High Performance Awards Spencer on Byron
(Tickets are now closed for the HP Awards night)
Sunday April 24th – 1.00pm New Zealand Hawks versus AFL Academy QBE Stadium
Sunday April 24th – 5.00pm After Match Function Millennium Institute
(Tickets are now closed for the After match Function)
The Hawks will have perfect preparation in the lead up where the team will be selected from the inaugural season of the AFL New Zealand Premiership commencing February 14 and culminating April 17. The Premiership is seen as the perfect opportunity for a higher level competition providing an extension to the traditional regional league seasons spanning between August to December each year.
The event will link in with a variety of high performance games over a busy ANZAC weekend on Auckland North Shore, with touring teams from AFL South East and NSW Independent Schools also visiting over the ANZAC period.