New Rules for Teen
Fifteen-year-old Waikato-born Kurt Heatherly “has the opportunity to be the first AFL player recruited directly from New Zealand”, writes Jake Niall for The Age. If Heatherly wears the brown and gold at AFL level, as the Melbourne Hawthorn Hawks hope, he will have a special place in the game’s history alongside Melbourne’s Irish pioneers, Jim Stynes and Sean Wight. The Hawks found him playing for New Zealand in a junior basketball tournament in Tasmania. He was 14, had never seen or played Australian football and knew nothing about this strange game played across the Tasman. Their interest was based entirely on his physical gifts and prowess at other sports. Heatherly told The Age would be “a great honour”, to play for the team adding, “Hopefully I’m not the last one if I do get that far”.