Shake up for withheld player lists – AFL New Zealand

With the recent move of the Southern Saints to the Canterbury region, the withheld player list system will come under significant strain due to the massive shift in team lists being imposed on the four AFL New Zealand Premiership teams.

The introduction of three Premiership matches to take place in Christchurch in March 2022 sees the Southern Saints move their training center to QE2 Oval in Christchurch. The move has also resulted in a shift of multiple training centers and a reliance on a playlist that has historically included regional players across New Zealand in each of the four Premiership teams.

Four major training hubs will be completed over the next month to help move players on the team list. Geographically, there will be major training centers in Wellington, Christchurch, Auckland North and Auckland South. Smaller hubs will also be negotiated to help players outside the major regions.

The 2021 AFLNZ Premiership included representatives from Otago, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Northland and Hawkes Bay and AFL New Zealand will continue to focus on promoting opportunities for the inclusion of players from these regions.

What does this mean for the Southern Saints?

Access to training Christchurch Training Hub; -The primary focus of Southern Saints will be recruiting from the Canterbury area. Initially, 10 of the first 13 selected will be from the Canterbury region.

Regional players; – A commitment to include Otago representatives will make up the remaining 3 list players out of the first 13 selected players.

What does this mean for the Central Giants?

Access to training Wellington Training Hub; -The Central Giants have a dual focus spread across two training centers in Wellington and South Auckland. Recruitment from the Wellington area. Initially, 5 of the first 13 selected will be from the Wellington region and 5 from the Auckland South region.

Note* Players based on Giants Auckland will be players based in South Auckland and will be retained as of 2021.

Regional players; – A commitment to include regional representatives outside of Auckland will make up the remaining 3 list players out of the first 13 selected players. (First option on Retained Players from 2021 Playing List.)

What does this mean for the Northern Suns?

Access training North Auckland Training Hub; -Northern Suns primary focus will be on recruitment from the North Auckland area. (North of Harbor and Greenhithe Bridges) Initially, 10 of the first 13 selected will be from the North Auckland region.

Regional players; – A commitment to include regional representatives will form the remaining 3 list players from the first 13 selected players. (First option on Retained Players from 2021 Playing List.)

What does this mean for the Western Crows?

Access to training South Auckland Training Hub; -Western Crows primary focus will be on recruitment from the South Auckland area. (South of Harbor and Greenhithe Bridges) Initially, 10 of the first 13 selected will be from the South Auckland region.

Note* Crows Auckland players are South Auckland players and will be retained from 2021. (First option on Retained Players from 2021 Playing List.)

Regional players; – A commitment to include regional representatives will form the remaining 3 list players from the first 13 selected players.

The National Draft will also face implications due to the changing face of the AFLNZ Premiership Competition.

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