NZ junior tournaments spring into action

The NZ Australian Football competitions generally are played in Spring or early Summer to complement existing football codes rather than challenge them for players. Though junior development has occurred previously throughout the year it can be seen that the recent addition of NZAFL CEO Rob Vanstam has generated some momentum again after the disappointing hiatus while no CEO was in office. Read more of the growth in junior development and about preparations for the Barassi International Youth Trophy and International Cup 2008 tournaments.

The Auckland AFL and Canterbury AFL both recently held their U15 Championships. With the Waikato and Wellington competitions still to hold their own junior championships for 2007, it can be seen that Aussie Rules is really gaining a foothold in this rugby-dominated country.

Canterbury AFL Schools Tournament

Three schools participated in the 2007 Secondary Schools AFL Carnival, held Saturday 25th August 2007. According to the NZAFL website: "This was the first occasion on which schools had competed outside school hours in such a competition. The games were fiercely contested with many parents and interested onlookers standing around the boundary, adding their vocal support to the teams."

The challenge in many respects for junior development over the past decades has been getting a commitment from the students to participate in their own time, whether in Club competitions or in tournaments such as this, held in their own time.

Lincoln 5 6 36 drew with St. Bedes 5 6 36
Best players: Vaiaga Lealaga (Lincoln), Ethan Harding (St. Bedes), George McLeod (St. Bedes)

Lincoln 6 9 45 def. Papanui 2 2 14
Best players: Hamish Stalker (Lincoln), David Risdon (Lincoln), Mike Sheehan (Papanui)

St. Bedes 17 10 112 def. Papanui 2 3 15
Best players: Rob Nolan (St. Bedes), Mike Cavanagh (Papanui), Jack Boxall (St. Bedes)

For great match descriptions and photos follow this link.

Auckland Secondary Schools Under 15 Champs

In the Auckland Secondary Schools Under 15 Champs a rainy day could not dampen spirits at Mt Roskill on Tuesday the 7th of August.

Round 1:
Kelston 8.5.51 d Rosehill 2.4.16
St Peters B 4.3.27 d Western Springs 3.2.20

Round 2:
St Peters A 4.7.31 d Kelston 3.7.25
Rosehill 4.7.31 d Western Springs 4.1.25

Round 3:
St Peters A 10.7.67 d St Peters B 0.3.3
Kelston 6.4.40 d Western Springs 0.0.0

Round 4:
St Peters A 9.7.61 d Rosehill 2.1.13
Kelston 5.6.36 d St Peters B 0.4.4

Round 5:
St Peters B 3.2.20 d Rosehill 0.10.10
St Peters A 12.7.79 d Western Springs 0.2.2

Grand Final:
St PetersA 7.6.42 d Kelston 2.2.14

Players selected for the Auckland Under 15 Provincial Squad: Rosehill: Raymond Miafola, Benji James, Aiden Stace
St Peters: Blake Hall, Brynn Hall, Liam Ackland, Jason Warnford, Dominic Malo, Manuelli Vetenubia
Kelston: Parate Matui, Scott Grafton, Louis Devery, Mark Nanai, Nathan Leonard, Ramaka Smith

Brynn Hall of St Peters was named as Player of the Tournament. More on the tournament can be found at the NZAFL website.

One purpose of these tournaments is to help select a squad to prepare for the Barassi International Youth Trophy to be held in Canberra next year and perhaps to pinpoint some major talent who might squeeze into the International Cup squad.

The Coaching and Management teams have now been appointed for both major squads and are as follows:

New Zealand Falcons
Coach: Robert Vanstam (Auckland)
Assistant Coach: Justin Davies (Canterbury)
Manager: Alan Grant (Wellington)
Physiotherapist: Jenny Lucy (Waikato)

New Zealand Under 16s
Coach: Jim Lucy (Waikato)
Assistant Coach: Ian Francis (Auckland)
Assistant Coach: Lachlan Keating (Canterbury)
Manager: Gordon McKenzie (Wellington)
Physiotherapist: Jenny Lucy (Waikato)

For more news on junior football development please view: CAFL meets with Canterbury Sport, Opihi College Smallest stars shine the brightest and St Bedes College take the advantage.


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