Kangaroo hunting Nomads

By Ben Lonergan (Armidale Express, 12/06/2015)
Revenge is on the menu for the New England Nomads tomorrow.

The Armidale side get their first crack at avenging their round one loss to competition leaders the Tamworth Kangaroos at Tamworth’s Number One Oval tomorrow.

To date the Kangaroos defeat is the Nomads’ only loss of the season and player-coach Zac Economou said his players are raring to go.

“We are really looking forward to it,” he said.

“The boys are pretty pumped up.”

An understrength Nomads side was thumped 116-60 by the Kangaroos in round one, but are now roaring up the ladder after not dropping a game since.

“It was disappointing to start the season that way,” Economou said.

“We will be hoping to make amends this weekend.”

The Nomads will again be far from full strength, with the majority of their university players unavailable, but still will field a much stronger squad than took to the park in round one.

“It’s the middle of uni holidays, so that’s not ideal for us,” Economou said.

“It will still be a completely different squad to the first time we played them.”

Two of the more experienced university players unavailable include Hayden Clarke and Shannon McDonald.

“It will hurt losing those two,” Economou said.

“But week to week we are having to scrape together a side.

“I doubt we will get a full squad until finals time.”

The Nomads and Kangaroos play a similar expansive style of Aussie Rules, but will be restricted by the smaller dimensions in Tamworth compared to the last time they clashed at Bellevue.

“We both like to attack and spread the footy around,” Economou said.

“They move the ball well and do it quickly.”

The Nomads’ coach said aside from revenge, there is also extra motivation for his side to knock off the undefeated Kangaroos.

“For us to play a home semi-final we have to beat them this week,” Economou said.

“Because they don’t look like losing another game.”

While desperate to win tomorrow, Economou and his men are relishing the prospect of being pushed by another quality side after three years dominating the TAFL.

“That’s why you play sport to challenge yourself against good players and good teams,” he said.

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