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Thursday, October 22 2020 @ 08:27 pm ACDT

Anzac Day Footy Spectacular in Wellington


Sure, most people who follow AFL know that Carlton Blues are the St Kilda Saints third opponent in the Saints’ annual Anzac Day Fixture at Westpac Stadium, Wellington.

But for the first time ever a junior Victorian team will be travelling to Wellington to play against the newly formed AFLNZ Academy Team. The Academy Team have themselves recently returned from a trip to Sydney where they played against a combined Independent Schools’ Allstars team and then the Swans Academy side who were coached by Swans legend Mick O’Loughlin.

The Academy side will be all the better for this experience but they will certainly be coming up against some slick players in the newly formed Peninsula Saints U16 team made up of players from the Frankston and Mornington Football Leagues, a traditional recruiting zone for St Kilda in days of yore.

The Peninsula Saints were selected by their Clubs and all compete in the Frankston or Mornington Peninsula Leagues.

Interestingly these two Leagues have combined both their U 16 and U17 Leagues for this season. This should result in two competitions per age group and lessen the blowouts that can sometimes occur at this age. In fact, the U17 competition is brand new and is designed as a stepping stone to senior football and is hoped to be used as a ladder for more players to stay actively involved with the game for a longer period.

Back to the trip to NZ! No Dandenong Stingray U16 squad members were eligible for the trip which means that the quality of the team touring is not as high as it could be but it will nonetheless not lack for football talent.  The two footballers I know well are Mt Martha’s Tim Susovich who is a fearless, contested footballer, strong overhead and loves getting forward to kick a goal and Langwarrin’s Will Davis who is a towering tap ruckman who reads the play well and will place himself around the ground to his team’s best advantage. As examples of the talent selected, this team will play some very fine football.

AFL South East, who along with the two Leagues (MPJFL and F&DJFL) and St Kilda, with sponsorship for apparel courtesy of Watersun Homes, are keen to see that this venture is not a one off and are hopeful it will become an annual event. AFL South East are also keen to explore new opportunities for NZ teams to return the visit on a regular basis.

The games against the NZ Academy will be played at AFL Wellington’s home ground, Hutt Park. Hopefully the wind will not be blowing too fiercely as it can become very exposed there in either a strong northerly or southerly.

Itinerary for the Peninsula Saints

Thursday April 23
Official Welcome Function - 6pm

Friday April 24
NZ National Combine Testing - 10am
Match 1 v NZ U16 (Hutt Park) - 4pm
NZ High Performance Awards - 7pm

Saturday April 25
Anzac Service - TBC
St Kilda v Carlton - 1pm
Halftime activities (Kiwi-kick) - 2.30pm
NZ Hawks v AFL Academy - 4.15pm
Halftime activities (AFL 9s) - 5pm
After-match Function / Meal - 6.30pm

Sunday April 26
St Kilda FC Super-clinic - 9am
Match 2 v NZ U16 (Hutt Park) - 1pm
After-match Presentations - 3.30pm
Team Dinner - 6.30pm

Monday April 27

Peninsula Saints

Jack Field, Crib Point FC, MPJFL 171cms
Luke Sparks, Pearcedale-Baxter FC, MPJFL, 180cms
Angus Wright, Seaford JFC, FDJFL, 180cms
Shea Mitchell, Red Hill JFC, MPJFL, 171cms
Joel Hepner, Rosebud JFC, MPJFL, 179cms
Jayden Thomas, Rye JFC, MPJFL, 170cms
Jordan Hoffman, Somerville JFC, MPJFL, 178cms
Jake McGuiness, Pearcedale Baxter JFC, MPJFL, 172cms
Nick Foster, Tyabb JFC, MPJFL, 170cms
Tim Susovich Mt Martha JFC, MPJFL, 165cms
Max Gorman-Batt, Dromana FC, MPJFL, 173cms
Zac Adie, Balnarring FC, MPJFL, 168cms
Lachlan Fewster, Mt Eliza JFC, FDJFL, 180cms
Beau Galley, Mt Eliza JFC, FDJFL, 180cms
Lachlan Willey, Edithvale-Aspendale JFC, FDJFL, 176cms
Jack Bailey Bonbeach YCW JFC, FDJFL, 183cms
Jed Goss, Sorrento JFC, MPJFL, 173cms
Aaron Jackson, Frankston Dolphins JFC, FDJFL, 180cms
Storm Bobridge, Sorrento JFC, MPJFL, 180cms
Peter Megee, Hastings JFC, MPJFL, 182cms
Lachlan Hinde, Frankston Rovers JFC, FDJFL, 180cms
Lachlan Avery, Frankston Rovers JFC, FDJFL, 178cms
Caleb Douglas, Frankston YCW, FDJFL, 185cms
Jarrod England, Carrum Downs JFC, FDJFL, 175cms
Will Davis, Langwarrin JFC, FDJFL, 192cms
Tom Hogan, Bonbeach YCW JFC, FDJFL, 191cms

Coach:- Andrew Souter
Team Manager/Trainer:- Debbie England
Runner:-Warren Wright
Tour Manager:- Jeremy Bourke

U 16 NZ Academy

Coach: Shannon Wall
Assistant Coach: Rowie Tatana
Assistant Coach: Jeff Silby
Manager: Aaron Tamariki
Runner: Jack Green
Physio: Chelsee Peita

Isaac Piper, Auckland
Jacob Tucker, North Harbour, Auckland
Nathan Halloran-Mclean, waitakere, Auckland
Sebastian Serrano, Auckland
Jarred Lewis, Counties, Auckland
Joseph Wadman, Northland
Max Stuart, Northland
Mitchell Stringer, Wellington
William Kempt, Wellington
Ish Perkins, Wellington
Cullen Marsters, Auckland
Joel Brown, Auckland
Connor McGeough, Wellington
Jack Morris, Waitakere, Auckland
Misilifi Faimalo, Wellington
Lewis Barrow-Young, North Harbour, Auckland
Jordan Skinner, Northland
Blake Williamson, Northland
Zac Vaughan, Wellington
Joseph Alesich- Tamariki, Auckland
Shaun Hanning, Wellington
Michael Iwashita, Northland
Sam Green, Wellington
Naitoa Ah Kuoi, Wellington

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