Player shortfall robs Nomads

By Ben Lonergan (Armidale Express, 15/04/2015)
It was an unfamiliar feeling for Zac Economou to have to talk to the press after a loss.

Zac Economou on the ball

Nomads’ coach Zac Economu prepares to clear the ball.

Saturday’s opening round defeat to the Tamworth Kangaroos was just the New England Nomads’ second defeat since Economou took over as player-coach at the start of 2014.

But Economou was far from deflated when speaking to the Express, in fact he was actually upbeat about the performance his severely depleted squad put in during the 116-60 loss to the Kangaroos at Bellevue Oval.

“It wasn’t the start to the season we wanted,” he said.

“They played some very good football and we just couldn’t keep up.
“But in saying that we were missing 24 players from our Tablelands Cup squad.

“I was pretty happy with how the boys played.”

The Nomads historically lose a huge chunk of their squad during university holidays and this year was no different.

Economou was under no illusions his side would struggle to keep up with one of the premiership favourites with so many players missing.

“It was always going to be a tough day,” he said.

“We went down there with the goal of being competitive and we did that.

“The scoreline didn’t reflect the closeness of the game.”

The Kangaroos jumped out to a 31-14 lead after a five-goal first quarter and never relented.

Five more goals in the second stretched the margin to 69-35 and with the Kangaroos defensive line going into lockdown in the second half the Nomads’ chances of fighting back were extremely slim.

The Armidale side could only manage three goals in the entire second half to see the scoreline balloon to 116-60.

In his first game as captain Dave Richards led the way for the Nomads with three goals.

“He was fantastic,” Economou said.

“He really stood up.

But it was two debutantes Economou saved his biggest praise for.

“Phil Mitchell was outstanding in his first game of AFL,” he said.

“He was probably close to best on ground.

“We might have unearthed a future star there.

“Shane Snowden was great as well in his first game.”

Not for reproduction except by permission of the Armidale Express

Round 1 2015

Nomads def. by Roos
 GBP GBP
Q12214 5131
HT5535 10969
Q37850 141195
FT81260 1714116

Team:

  • L. Bettington,
  • D. Bioletti,
  • V. Chakalisa,
  • H. Cook,
  • M. Darton,
  • T. Dickson,
  • Z. Economou,
  • M. Evans,
  • A. Garraud,
  • W. Hall,
  • P. Mitchell,
  • Z. Old,
  • D. Richards,
  • N. Sanders,
  • J. Shirley,
  • M. Shirley,
  • S. Snowden,
  • O. Temoso,
  • J. Tilto,
  • A. Walsh,
  • Z. Wells,
  • W. Whitby.

Goalscorers:

  • D. Richards (3),
  • Z. Economou (2),
  • N. Sanders,
  • S. Snowden,
  • V. Chakalisa.

Award winners:

  • D. Richards (Players' Player),
  • O. Temoso (Coach's),
  • Z. Wells (President's),
  • P. Mitchell (Captain's),
  • S. Snowden (Meehan's Plumbing Services').

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