Now or never as Nomads mount last-ditch finals challenge

By James Polson (Armidale Express, 24/07/2009)
The New England Nomads remain a mathematical chance of making the Tamworth Australian Football League (TAFL) finals but coach Brendan Meehan concedes it will be a hard ask.

The Nomads currently linger two wins outside the top four with five competition rounds to go, while only four points separate first from fourth.

The Tamworth Swans, whom the Nomads face tomorrow, have a share of the lead with Gunnedah while the Inverell Saints and the Tamworth Kangaroos round out the top four.

“We need to win, they’re all must-wins for us now because of the position we’ve got ourselves into,” Meehan said.

“We’re still a chance of scraping into the finals but we need a bit of luck as far as losses from other teams go as well.”

The coach has every reason to be confident heading into tomorrow’s match.

The Nomads have faced the Swans twice this season – for a win and a loss.

On both occasions, the margin has been less than ten points.

“The games are close all the time,” Meehan said.

“There’s nothing between us, and they’re equal on top of the ladder.”

While personnel for the match would not be confirmed until the Nomads trained last night, Meehan said he didn’t foresee any large problems.

“I can’t think of anyone major missing,” he said.

“We’ll have to see at training who’s back after the university holidays.”

The coach conceded that fitness has been an issue for his troops all season.

“Things are starting to go well, but in that win over the Kangaroos (on July 4) we had a great first half and then started to die off with about eight minutes to go and against Gunnedah last week we fell off a bit late in the third quarter,” he said.

In tomorrow’s other TAFL fixtures the Muswellbrook Cats continue their quest to register their first win of the season when they host Gunnedah, while the Inverell Saints travel to Tamworth to take on the Kangaroos.

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