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New Zealand Hawks to take on Australia


The AIS-AFL Academy will send a squad of Australia’s brightest future AFL stars to New Zealand for a nine day tour in January 2012. Pleasingly NZ are taking this incredibly seriously and have looked far and wide in developing their initial squad.

An amazing list of players with New Zealand heritage has been listed in the initial New Zealand squad in a move that will drive the AFL bloggers into a frenzy.

The itinerary will commence in Auckland and culminate in Wellington where the AIS-AFL Squad will play against the New Zealand Hawks at Westpac Stadium 12.00pm on Saturday January 28th .

North Melbourne Premiership legend and Fox Sport television commentator Wayne Schwass has agreed to assist with coaching of the New Zealand Hawks and he will be joined by former Port Adelaide star Don Dickie as well as current Hawks coach Justin Davies.
 The unique bond that the former AFL stars Schwass and Dickie share with the New Zealand team is their heritage. Both were born in “the land of the long white cloud” and are prepared to acknowledge this with their involvement.
 Another AFL Graduate, former Fremantle player Adam Campbell, will make the trip over from Sydney to show his allegiances and will be joined by Damian Hynes and Ash Duncan from the SANFL Club Central Districts, who also emerged from New Zealand to play at State League level.
 Khan Haretuku formerly on St Kilda’s rookie list, will also trip across the Tasman to represent his country. Immediately on hearing of the initiative the St Kilda Football Club added their support by ensuring football staff would be in attendance for the game.
 They are not the only past or current AFL stars with links to New Zealand. Gold Coast Suns code jumper Karmichael Hunt, Richmond’s Rising Star Dustin Martin, Hawk young gun Shane Savage, Port Adelaide Ruckman Brent Renouf were all forwarded invitations to attend and most recently drafted Western Bulldog Daniel Pearce is yet another born in New Zealand who continue to recognize their heritage.
 Add to the mix Adelaide Captain Nathan Van Berlo and brother Jay based in Fremantle, whose parents are also born in New Zealand, and the future AFL football in New Zealand could be exciting.
 Hawthorn Football Club has thrown their support behind the match with International Scholarship players Rhys Panui-Leth, Shem Tatupu and Kurt Heatherley also playing with the remainder of the team supplemented by the best available talent from the AFL New Zealand community.
 The tour will see New Zealand showcase facilities in Auckland and Wellington with the young Australian Institute of Sport-AFL Squad visiting premier locations such as North Harbour Stadium, The Millennium Institute, Waitakere Trust Stadium in Auckland and Wellington Indoor Stadium, the Basin Reserve and Westpac Stadium in Wellington.
 It seems that the race is on for the first AFL fixture outside of Australia and Wellington New Zealand could take on this challenge as early as ANZAC Day 2013.
 AFL Pundits are well aware of Hawthorn Football Clubs current links with AFL New Zealand through the HANZ UP! Programme commencing in November 2009. The brain child of the then Hawthorn Football Manager Chris Pelchen and current Community Manager Greg Cook has been ground breaking with a significant effort to underpin junior development as momentum builds towards New Zealand hosting an AFL fixture.
 Hawthorn’s current agreement with Tasmania is well placed and will not allow them to participate in the fixture as a ‘home team’ but there has been interest in participating as the ‘away team’. Recent interest has escalated and confidence is high that a team willing to participate in the clash as the “home team” has been found.
 An historic clash could emphasise what the NZ actually stands for in ANZAC and as the list of AFL players with New Zealand heritage grows, who knows, we can look to the future to a New Zealand team competing against Australians and happy to do this with an oval ball rather than a round one.
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New Zealand Hawks to take on Australia | 9 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
New Zealand Hawks to take on Australia
Authored by: Brett Northey on Monday, December 12 2011 @ 10:58 pm ACDT

How good is that?  It ticks so many of the boxes we've hoped to see ticked over the years - a serious tour that should give the AIS kids a really good hit out, a NZ squad that showcases its best players whilst highlighting the contribution they have made within Australia, and talk of getting an AFL match staged there, which is long overdue after the successful pre-season matches quite a few years ago now.  And exactly as some of us have pointed out before - Australia often seems to forget the NZ in ANZAC.

Congrats to AFLNZ and the AFL for making this happen.

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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New Zealand Hawks to take on Australia
Authored by: Brett Northey on Monday, December 12 2011 @ 11:06 pm ACDT

The AFL are keen to grow interest in the elite juniors at the AIS and leading in to make the AFL draft a bigger deal on TV, and Fox Footy are launching their dedicated footy channel again and are always looking for content.

I wonder if there's any chance of this match being telecast - that would be a huge boost to the profile of AFLNZ within Australian footy circles, and frankly by footy starved January I'd be happy to watch the Waitomo Glow Worms under 12s having an internal trial.

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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New Zealand Hawks to take on Australia
Authored by: smusic on Tuesday, December 13 2011 @ 03:03 am ACDT

AH YES!! It's coming!! stage 1: AIS v NZ - stage 2: AIS v The World - stage 3: Australia v The World!!! I hope the AIS wear a decent Aussie Rules jumper and not the one they use that was developed for their trips to Ireland to play IR, with the shirt style. Purple??? who designed the IR jumper anyway - its a shocker!! looking forward to see it. All the International Cup jumpers were superb, fantastic, and brilliant!! An Aussie one!! WOW!! Yes I agree Brett - hope its televised and posted later somewhere.

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New Zealand Hawks to take on Australia
Authored by: Harley Vague on Tuesday, December 13 2011 @ 12:15 pm ACDT

Just adding to the above points, this is what we should be focussing on. This is a great opportunity with the draft finished, S.O.O no more and the IR series been and gone without enthusism to focus on some Australian Football with  Australia represented. With the increasing focus on up and coming youngsters  this could be seen as a serious hitout.  

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New Zealand Hawks to take on Australia
Authored by: Rory Slater on Tuesday, December 13 2011 @ 07:59 pm ACDT

 Ok, settle down.

What will be the age disparity?

How many of these supposed Kiwi products learnt their trade in Australia?

Is this simply the thin edge of the wedge that affords NZ a commercial slice of the elite AFL pie expediently so, when you consider the actual talent and historic affinity for the code in local demographics, that quite frankly NZ hasn't even earnt the right to contemplate?

The AFL, being a business first and foremost see NZ, not Oceania, as a commercial frontier, in going head to head with the other Trans Tasman comps that already exist.  PNG is by far superior for raw talent but there is no such focus on this country.

The AFL stand to compromise the strength of the indigenous codes domestic culture that has managed to sustain over time despite the glut of international product  it competes against.  They would dumb down to appear international or should I say Trans Tasman in going head to head with their competitors for a slice of the tele market.

This has diddly squat to do with potential talent or even any NZ potential interest in the Australian code, which is not even on par with the interest Gridiron or Gaelic Footy attracts there, but more to do with commercial jockeying in the code cold war.

What has always concerned me about this devolution in our game, is that the loyal devotees and demographics i.e. Tassie, the  NT and the ACT to name a few, stand to again be expediently overlooked come the next expansion, as the AFL look to fast track and agressively grow from the top down, however long it takes, in this case, Kiwi cred without the ped, to justify their commercial assault on NZ's elite sporting landscape.

I make no apologies to the wfn fraternity of altruistic globalists, for my P in C comment.


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New Zealand Hawks to take on Australia
Authored by: flyinghigh on Tuesday, December 13 2011 @ 09:00 pm ACDT

LOL..Rory your an idiot!?....this is just another step in the life of the afl international baby

"The AFL, being a business first and foremost see NZ, not Oceania, as a commercial frontier"???? what????

they have all ready sent the AIS to ireland ,africa and PNG....this is just another step...if they see NZ as the frontier why dont they hade the oceanic cup there everytime its held

"This has diddly squat to do with potential talent or even any NZ potential interest in the Australian code"????what??..didnt you read..hawthorn are sending THERE( POTENTIAL AFL STARS) NZ INTERNATIONAL SCOLARSHIP PLAYERS back to play...and would say scouts will be there..just like the oceanic cup playing now

like I said its a baby step..but a hell of a great step which you should love, as a lover of the game?...which we know you are being on this great site 


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New Zealand Hawks to take on Australia
Authored by: Rory Slater on Tuesday, December 13 2011 @ 10:01 pm ACDT

 Flying high

There is no cultural affinity of note for Australian footy in NZ in fact I would go so far as to say there is little more than contempt.

There is far better talent in PNG but they are not the focus and why, because NZ offers the AFL a commercial tele market, one that pits them against League, Soccer and Union.


NZ potentially will leap frog our heartlands for the next expansion bid, void of any criteria aside from the AFL's commercial one.

NZ's contribution to the AFL is farcical in this context and any suggestion that it seriously deserves consideration is an insult to the loyal demographics that continue to struggle for elite membership while NZ is being touted as a future AFL base, despite a total lack of pedigree or cred and on the back of what, a token schools PE type presence courtesy of the Hawthorn footy club.

The NZ Hawks still struggle to compete with the cobbled together VFA selections of 17 & 16 year olds and here we are talking up this country of philistines as a future AFL talent pool and even AFL base for elite club.

If these sentiments render me idiotic I will live with that. 

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New Zealand Hawks to take on Australia
Authored by: flyinghigh on Tuesday, December 13 2011 @ 11:50 pm ACDT

I think your missing the point Rory.this is great news for us the fans and great for our game..and NZ is only 1 of many counties which the afl would like to crack into.

the AFL international board is only about 5 years old..of course theres no cultural affinity to aussie rules(and thats every country)in NZ BUT we have to start somewhere and this is just the start.the AIS travel every year and we should be rapt they(the AFL) are doing these tours.

PNG might have more talent but for some reason have decided to go to NZ  this yr,money/better grounds??who knows.

I dont understand why you post your heartland lines here when we are talking about a AIS class going over seas,which they have been doing for 10 yrs.

we should think big and support these international programs they take on...I think we should put another side in sydney...move north melb there and call them NORTHSIDE KANGEROOS.just like the old days sydney swans can have the south, north can have the north of sydney;)

we as fans cannot wait till we play a international side(which will happen)but the only way in the near future is for our juniors to play international teams.

this is just the start of what we hope will grow bigger and bigger over time..sit back and enjoy the ride.

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New Zealand Hawks to take on Australia
Authored by: Harley Vague on Wednesday, December 14 2011 @ 11:42 am ACDT

I think it's time to set the record straight. Australian Football started in NZ in much the same way as Australian colonies. The first NZ teams were established in the 1860s and a Moari team travelled to Melbourne where it defeated the premier side South Melbourne. Like NSW the height of Australian Football was the new 20th century with leagues being created and a maximum of 131 teams being in existance. The national council changed it's name to Australasian Football Council to reflect this involvement. NZ travelled to the Australian National Football Championships where it defeated both NSW and QLD. Unfortunately WWI decimated football in NZ as did in Australia and never recovered there. Today we can be seen as attempting to re-establish football in NZ similar to that which has occured in NSW and QLD. Hopefully we can achieve the same result by using recent models. By comparison PNG's history extends back to WWII and does not share the same colonial link as NZ.

Rory, you have mounted an argument that AR is "easy" to learn. Well let's hope that is indeed true and all New Zealanders give AR a go and we have the beginnings of an AFL(Australasian) side.


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