A fitting end for Nomads

By Siobhan McCarthy (Armidale Express, 16/08/2013)
The New England Nomads have dominated the Tamworth AFL competition all season, but tomorrow they will throw everything at the Inverell Saints in an attempt to secure a home grand final.

The reigning premiers have not hosted a grand final since 2006 and have not won it at home since 2004.

The side’s coach Tom Granleese said while they have secured the minor premiership his side is focused on tomorrow’s clash.

“If we win tomorrow we get a home grand final and we owe it to the community to host it,” he said.

“This weekend we just want to secure that home grand final and give justice to Clint Ballagh, who will play his 100th game for us [Nomads].”

While the Nomads have defeated Inverell each time they have met this season, Granleese said the Saints still seek revenge for their loss to the Nomads in the grand final last year.

“I think they are pretty sore about losing the grand final at home last year and they will use that as added motivation,” he said.

“I think there has always been a healthy rivalry and they are a very good team, who play physical football and that always creates grudges.”

Granleese said the key to securing a victory tomorrow would be for his side to remain level headed.

“There have been times we have got ahead of ourselves this season, but we need to try and keep pretty level heads tomorrow,” he said.
“Our midfield is a really big key… it is important that we use our run and carry for the whole afternoon.”

The Nomads will look to Riley Connor, Luke Raymond, Velani Chakalise and Jack Fruend to lead the charge.

“Our ruckmen also give silver service use of the ball to our onballers and we need to do that all day,” Granleese said.

Meanwhile the club’s president Ben Page said tomorrow’s game requires the whole Nomads community to help secure a home grand final on August 31.

“Everyone in our Nomad family must be focussed and ready for the challenge,” he said. “Inverell are a fearless opponent who will stop at nothing trying to upset and defeat our boys. However I have confidence that as a club we can overcome this challenge.”

In the other semi-final the Tamworth Kangaroos will battle the Muswellbrook Cats.

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