Papua New Guinean youth on the road for an AFL contract

Papua New Guinea’s own AFL youngster, 20-year-old Jeconiah Peni, also known as “Jay Jay”, is flying the flag of PNG among 15 competitors for an AFL contract in Australia.

The young lad from Hoskins, West New Britain, settled in Australia 3 years ago to chase his AFL dream, which is now at hand.

Jay Jay grew up in Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea as an only child. 

Being away from his family is hard for the cheeky and incredibly smiley Jay Jay, but he takes it all in his stride.

Despite being terrified of all the snakes and spiders, Jay Jay has settled in well to an Australian way of life.

He is currently studying carpentry at Holmesglen TAFE and blames his lack of exposure for not making it so far, and feels this is his big chance to be noticed. 

He is currently among the 15 young hopefuls competing for a guaranteed place on an AFL list to take part in Season 2 of the AFL The Recruit program on Fox TV.

The Recruit is all about testing the contestants’ ability of living and playing together. They will battle it out over 10 weeks, looking to prove that they deserve to be drafted a contract. His AFL team is Hawthorn.

His local club Balwyn Tigers Assistant Coach Ben Dixon said: “Jay Jay is a livewire. I think he’s literally got wheels he’s so quick, he can be a half-forward type who just creates.”

After the 10 weeks, their fate will be decided.





Lamech Jinimbo