Ready for a battle

By Ellen Dunger (Armidale Express, 08/04/2016)
The New England Nomads will play their first match of the season this weekend when they take on the Moree Suns at home.

The Tamworth AFL season officially started last weekend and the Nomads managed to score their first with without stepping onto the field after their round one opponents Narrabri Eagles forfeited.

Coach Jed Ellis-Cluff said the reigning premiers are confident they can put in another good season after adding some star power to their side. 

“We have eight or nine players remaining from last year’s squad and a similar number of them  have come in this year as well so it has worked out pretty well,” he said. 

“We have bought in a few good players as well that fill holes that needed filling which will be handy.

“We are looking pretty good at this stage.

“Hamish Pearce has come back to the club. 

“He has won a couple of best and fairest awards in the past and he will be pretty good for us.”

“We had a Nomads verse Coffs Harbour which we won by 75 points,” said Ellis-Cluff. 

“Liam Cudmore at fullback was really good in the Coffs Harbour game and Cameron Graham was really lively and did well.”

Ellis-Cluff tipped a handful of last year’s team members to have standout seasons in 2016. 

“Luke Raymond had a really good pre-season,” he said

“Wulu Hall is fitter and better than last year. 

“He is on fire and been training really well.
 
“Dave Richards, last year’s captain, is looking as good as ever.
 
“Phil Mitchell is going into his second year and is going to be a really good player.”

As for the competition, Ellis-Cluff believes rivals the Tamworth Kangaroos are going to be tough to topple. 

“The Tamworth Kangaroos have a really good list and haven’t lost too many players so I think they will be up there again,” he said.

The Nomads are also putting together a junior team of players aged 12-16 to play prior to the main game every week.

Players interested in taking part in the junior competition should head to the Nomads website.

The Nomads’ match against the Suns commences at 2pm on Saturday at Bellevue Oval.

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