The AFL New Zealand Youth Rising Star award will be awarded weekly to a standout young player in the 2016 AFL New Zealand Youth Competition. 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 1999 or younger.
The first Youth Rising Star award of 2016 has been awarded to Green Bay High School student Declan Crann.
Declan was a standout for the Saints in Round one of the Auckland Youth competition. In his third year playing AFL, Declan’s game understanding, athletic ability, skill to distribute and maturity are all developing and are among some of the reasons he is the Round one AFLNZ Youth Rising Star.
Declan will look to continue his good form and development through the AFLNZ Youth programme to cement a position as a regular development player in the AFLNZ premiership 2017.
AFL New Zealand caught up with Declan a few days ago to ask him a few questions about playing AFL.
What kind of sports did you play growing up?
Growing up, I played Rugby, Tennis, Touch any kind of sport with a round ball in it.
How did you get into AFL?
I first started out in AFL when I played in the Hawks Cup for my School team (Green Bay High School). From there, I was selected into the AFLNZ Academy and have now been playing for 3 years.
What do you enjoy about the game?
Big or small you can still be a great player. AFL is such an athletic sport with all fitness aspects which builds up my fitness for other sports too.