The Hornets have swarmed into the AFLNZ Premiership for 2019. Seven Hornets have been included in three teams list adding to the two already retained players.
The Hornets were hot property and were snapped up quickly in the draft on Wednesday night. Number 1 draft pick went to the Northern Suns - the only team that does not have a Hornet. The Suns were after height so chose to pass on the AAFL & Howick Hornets Best and Fairest winner Jay Green. The Suns picked up AAFL Premiership winning Universtiy Ruckman Patrick Lamby
Pick 2 was Southern Saints; securing Travis Walker into their side. Travis is a strong player and can fit in any position from midfield up to the full forward. Travis was picked to be another attacking option for the Saints as they struggled last year. Teaming up with Manurewa's Alex Fakatoumafi in the forward line will keep the opposing defenders busy. . Pick 3 went to another Hornet with the the Western Crows counting their stars and not believing their luck that Auckland AFL & Howick Hornets Best and Fairest winner was not picked up in the first two picks. Jay will bolster the Crows already impressive midfield
After the first round of 4 picks half of the pick had been Hornets. Very strong showing.
Round 2 of picks was for AFLNZ Acadamy Graduates. Luke Williams of Howick was eligible for picking within this round and draft pick 5 (round 2 pick 1) for the Crows saw them swoop in and pick up Luke within their line up. Luke will add speed and agility out on the wing for the crows. Fresh off captaining the youth side Luke looks to continue growing within the sport.
Round 3 was for Auckland based players again and had another strong showing of Hornets. Hornets Rookie of the Year Harley Jenkins was nabbed early by the Southern Saints . Harley is a versatile player and can easily slot into the forward or back line. It will be interesting to see where the Saint play him. Pick 11 (round 3 pick 3) saw Steph Tabaillou traded from the Western Crows where he has played the last two years to the Central Giants linking up with retained player Elliott Bennetts. Steph works well around the middle of the field and provides the team with maximum disposals.
Round 10 Saw our veteran player and commanding backmen Wade Eatts picked up in the Central Giants. Wade is an experienced campaigner and works well in any back line. Wade provides a level head and big voice in the backline to tighten up any defence.
Lastly in round 11 Tyson Schmidt was also picked up in the Central Giants. Tyson relatively new to the AAFL scene went under the radar through the draft. The Giants got an absolute steal picking up Tyson this late. Tyson fresh out of Australia is a skillful player who loves to run the footy.
A strong year from the Hornets saw their worth skyrocket in the 2019 Draft. The NZAFL draft review has seen most of the Hornets mentioned as key signings. Jay Green was noted as best pick up for the Western Crows and the same for Travis Walker at the Southern Saints. Harley Jenkins was noted as the one to watch for the Southern Saints.
Up the Hornets!!
2019 AFLNZ Preimership Hornets
Central Giants: Elliott Bennetts, Steph Tabaillou, Tyson Schmidt, Wade Eatts
Northern Suns: Nil
Southern Saints: Harley Jenkins, Travis Walker
Western Crows: Jay Green, Luke Williams, Ryan White