Core returns for Nomads

By Ben Lonergan (Armidale Express, 10/04/2015)
The New England Nomads quest for a fourth consecutive premiership begins at home.

Bellevue Oval, the Nomads’ fortress, will play host to the Tamworth Kangaroos in the highly anticipated opener of the Tamworth AFL 2015 season tomorrow.

The Nomads enter the season competition favourites once again after adding the squad that crushed all comers in 2014.

Zac Economou will lead the side as player-coach for the second year, but there is a change in the captaincy ranks with star Weston Whitby stepping down to make way for young gun Dave Richards to step up.

“Dave has been a fantastic player for us over a number of years,” Economou said.

“He will relish the opportunity and hopefully it will take his game to the next level.”

Tom Hunt and Matt Foley have been elected vice-captains.
The Nomads enter the season on a high after a hugely successful pre-season which included their first Tablelands Cup win since 2008.

“I’m looking forward to this season,” Economou said.

“All the boys are.

“After a good pre-season we are all keen for the first game.”

Aside from the Nomads, the Kangaroos have been a constant near the top of the table in recent season and pose a threat first up to the Armidale side.

“They are a strong all round side especially up front,” Economou said.

“If they ball gets down there they usually score.

“Our midfield will have to work hard to ensure we don’t let the ball get down there.” Economou has been able to keep the bulk of his grand final winning squad together and will also be boosted by the return of Jed Ellis Clough.

“We have a great side,” the Nomads coach said.

“There are a few new faces and a lot of old ones.”

The Nomads enter tomorrow’s match against the Kangaroos missing a few big names, including Hunt who is unavailable.

“It’s uni holidays which always stretches us out,” Economou said.

“We will be without Tom Hunt which will hurt.

“He was a big part of last year.”

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