It’s an honour that has been bestowed upon the shoulders of Giovanni Mountain-Silbery, descendent of Ngāpuhi and Tainui.
“I'm pretty stoked, and I'm real excited. It’s a new experience for me, big opportunity. I’m just real excited” says an eager Giovanni.
Giovanni’s father, Trent Silbery says that as a whānau, “we are very excited, just even today being in front of the cameras and the atmosphere of just the presentation. We are quite stoked”
AFL player, Shane Savage was also fortunate today. He was given the honour of gifting the St. Kilda jersey to Giovanni.
All the way from Ngāti Awa, this AFL superstar says that “it's really awesome to have him on board. He joins Jo Baker Thomas in the same football list and we are really looking forward to seeing him develop over the next couple of years”
The General Manager of the St Kilda Football Club spoke of his admiration for this young Māori player.
The GM of St. Kilda adds that “Giovanni is a great athlete, hes a really tall, athletic kid and we are finding that the likes of Giovanni, i guess the opportunity to play AFL is something that in a traditional rugby heartland like New Zealand that Australia can potentially find a few more Giovannis out there.”
Giovanni has been encouraged to stay at school for the next two years, however, he will still be able to train alongside his new team.